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Thread: 60 Minutes on Sunday 1/29/06

  1. #11
    I thought the Dr in NJ should have done some time for giving him the scripts with no dates on them. 25 years in BS, but they made the Dr testify he was forging the scripts and that is what they got him on I think it was 14 counts.

    Mike T12
    Tough Times Don't Last...Tough People Do!

  2. #12
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    The guy's description of how his legs feel sounded almost like mine. He didn't have my back and abdominal pain, but he was one suffering person who does not belong in jail.
    Alan

    Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

  3. #13
    I too watched the story on 60 minutes.I guess what bothered me the most was the overall lack of information on things like what did this guy actually try,other than the narcotics to try and relieve his pain,ya know?was he totally relying on the use of just narcotics to try and treat a type of pain that is well known not to actually respond to most narcotics?did this guy try other modalities to treat his pain/was he taking any anti siezure meds?these things really would have at least shown that he tried everything he could before deciding he just 'had to have" only narcotics to treat his,what appered to be central pain"?i reall did have a ton of sympathy for the guy,honestly,til the investigator,mentioned that he was creating his own Rxs,that he had i his possesion all the things needed to actually forge his own Rxs. The two meds that he was actually taking also made me wonder whether this guy had actually slowly developed an actual addiction to his pain meds as opposed to the normal dependance that develops in every CP patient over time.The type of pain meds he was taking,well they are the most widely abused type of meds that are out there,with the hydro being number one.he stated he did go to a pain doc who told him he was 'screwed' as far as gettining any PM to actually continue to Rx that much hydro and oxy to him,but he never mentioned if these(i do believe he saw more than one?)docs had ever actually suggested to him,other modalities to try and treat his pain?did they ever offer him the use of any LA meds such as ms contin or oxycontin?

    i mean as the majority of us know,unfortunetly from our own experiences,short acting meds really do not seem to offer any real relief or would have to be taken in such incredibly high amounts that it really would not be worth the risk of developing liver and kidney failure or toxicity just from the incredibly high amounts of tylenl he had to be consuming on a daily basis.did any of his docs ever mention that fact to him/did he ignore it and tell them that "only the hydro and the percs would do the job?had this guy actually looked at the possibility of actually having the morphine pump implanted at any time before it was forced upon him after his incarceration?.I just find it rather ironic that once this was actually done,he mentioned that he was indeed getting good relief from his pain,ya know?

    besides the fact that this guys really incredbile ass of a doc in NJ who at first mentioned that all this guy had stated was true,only to 'take that all back" when the crap was going to hit the fan for him,this doc really did no great service to the CP patient by contiinueing to treat this level of pain with only the use of hydro and percs.This would never happen in any pain clinic that I know of in MN.my PM clinic does not use any sort of tylenol based products to try and treat any sort of pain except for certain times and that is very rare in itself.any good PM knows that when you have a patient who is going to need narcotics long term,the cumulative effects of tylenol on the kidneys and the liver really is not worth that type of risk,even taking tylenol within the stated 'safe" guidelines but over a very long period of time,will indeed catch up to those organs eventually. Just ask the thousands of people who are currently waiting on that 'list' for new kidneys and livers just due to acetaminophen toxicity.

    there was just sooo much really important info that was left out of this guys 'whole' story that i really had a very hard time just trying to see the actual point they were really trying to make by airing it,ya know?was I the only one who actually wondered that?
    i am now having to take some very strong LA meds to try and treat meny areas of different types of pain,but along with that,I use and have used many many other modalities to try and control it too.some were not worth the effort and some actually gave me at least a modicum of success.but we all know that 'goo' pain control is not acheived by just the use of narcotics alone.other more out of the box tyoe meds are usually required to really treat the more out of the box type of pain we have. wayy back when,while being treated for endometriosis,i developed an addictionto the darvocet I was taking.i did not realize at the time just what was going on(this was the early 80s)addiction is such a sneaky bastard.well i founf out much later that I had been suffering from post partum depression and the darvocet was the self medication that was actually working for me,once I got my life back on track,started seeing a good therepist and getting on a good anti d.and also going thru a stint thru out patient treatment for the addiction(which by the way,back then,I was the only person in the entire treatment program out of some 60 men and women,who was actually there for strictly pain med abuse,talk about feeling lonely and having no one to really relate to)things wen really well and i was not using or abusing anything but when the disc in my neck became severely herniated and the cavernoma was dicovered,form that pint on,things had to change,after the spinal cord surgery left me with both RSD in my R knee and central pain thru out my L arm and up over both sholdre baldes.i had no choice but to have to go back onto the narcotics again.the ONLY way I would dothis was to go thru an actual PM where there were alot of rules and regs to keep me on the straight and narrow.So far,and it is almost three years in feb,i have never ever aboused my pain meds,have been totally and competely compliant in every way shape and form,but my PM knows my hystory and helps me to do this.i have really never had the urge to 'overdo " my meds at any time,mostly because the thought of being down even one tiny pill would require me to actually have to endure the full horrid impact of this hidious pain.but it CAN be done.i am doing okay now with that aspect but have never been comfortable and i never let my guard down for a minute as addiction can happen so very very quickly and it just seems to be "there' one day before you even realize what is going on.noone starts out saying,hey I think I want to be an addict some day,ya know?Unfortunetly,for the man in this story,only because his doc did not appropriately treat his type of pain using the right modalities,he did indeed succumb to addiction.the acts that were described could be interpretted two different ways really,as the desperate pain patient just trying to survive and make sure he always had enough pain meds availiable or the addict who was on two very highly addictive meds for wayy too long that he was attempting to take enough meds just to maintain that consistant "feeling' that becuae of his extreme pain and the tolerance,was just not possible for him any more.you know what I mean?if they had not mentioned the fact that he was also creating his own Rxes at his home,well maybe I would have sen this in a different light,but when you get to that point ,you have to ask yourself,"god,what in the hell am I actually doing here"?and seek out other alternatives to try and get relief.i just find it rather ironic that once he was i jail,the pain pump was actually working for him.I did not hear him say anything about his pain being soo very out of control or asked people to write their congressman to try and stop this inhumane torture because his pain was just so horrible without those two short acting meds that he had been taking prior to the MS pump.
    like I said before,I was really never sure just what actual point this story was trying to really make,but it was kind of an eye opener,espescially for those who have never had to endure the agony of chronic pain and what every cp patient has to go thru just to try and obtain some quality of life.But in my opinion,just from what wa showed on this story,i DO strongly feel that despite the fact that this main was very obviously suffering with some pretty horrid CP,he unfortunetly also succumbed to addiction.this happens much much more often with any of the short acting meds way more than with any of the contins as they do not,in most cases,offer that sudden onset feeling of euphoria which is what really ropes in the addiction.without THAT specific component,it would be much much harder for anyone person to actually develop an addiction as that instant euphoria is what starts the whole process in the first place.this is just strictly my opinion based on my experiences and how i really percieved this man and his stroy,I am sure people will not actually agree with me.but i just felt it needed to be said.no one is ever ever frree of the possibility of becomming addicted when we have to actually take narcotics every day of our livesit is usually the short timers that this happens to,but it still does happen to CP patients.it is in no way a sort of character flaw or means you are a bad person.it just happens.it is how you deal with it that makes the difference.I hope I did not really p*** off anyone,like i said,this is just how I kind of percieved things.have a good day,firesmurf

  4. #14
    Hi Firesmurf,

    There was a lot of detail left out of the story so it's difficult to get an accurate reading of the whole affair. In my mind it boils down to the unfairness of the charge of drug trafficking and the very long and the unproportional sentence. Most rapists and murderers don't get 25 years.... at least the first time!

    There's no doubt in my mind that he was addicted. That goes without saying. But sometimes when the pain is that great a trade-off needs to be made. He chose the drugs over the pain. I'd probably do the same.

    It seems that his doctor in NJ did him wrong in more ways than one. Besides denying that he wrote any of the prescriptions which was shown to be untrue he didn't explore all the pain therapies available. Such as the morphine pump which now seems to have the severe chronic pain under control.

    It appeared as though there was fraud or counterfeiting of prescriptions at least being thought of or planned. It wouldn't be difficult to get all those old prescriptions, forged and/or genuine and test them to find out for sure if any forgeries were actually used and drugs received. Hey, he was under the constant influence of the drugs so probably wasn't making the best decisions that he could have. Looking back, he should have accepted the plea bargain which didn't call for any jail or prison time. Although the plea bargain could have included that he stop all narcotics and that he be drug tested every week and he feared the pain. Who knows? But he chose to put his life in the hands of a jury and didn't fare very well. If your aim is to try to help people then the prosecutor could've ordered him to the best pain doctor or clinic in the State and had him re-evaluated and gone along with whatever the medical experts recommended. Maybe he would've had the morphine pump implanted then. A lot cheaper than having it done in prison with 25 years of taxpayer funded morphine pump maintenance. But after awhile and probably after some choice words between him and the prosecutor it got a bit personal and the prosecutor was gonna show him who was boss.

    Pain will make a person go to practically any length to get some relief. And since it's so difficult to get prescriptions for narcotics he was, in desperation, getting creative, let's say.

    My friend was in extreme pain due to a back injury. He looked just like the fellow in the story as he was filmed walking down the aisle in the store. Actually my friend looked even worse. He was bent over and twisted as he shuffled with cane in hand. He wasn't malingering... he had honest to God severe chronic pain. And the real bitch was that he's a really nice guy. He'd do anything for you even with all the pain he was carrying around. He was on Methodone for half the time that I knew him. To this day I still feel a bit guilty for encouraging him to get off of it. He had a secure source at the Methodone clinic and would get his daily dose of the liquid time-release orange colored stuff every morning. He got caught taking other drugs with it so for awhile he wasn't allowed to take any home with him in that "lock box" that so many Methodone patients need to carry with them. So he had to get in his car every morning and drive 15 miles and stand in line with all the heroin addicts to get his pain relief. The Methodone did make him very forgetful and he'd take a few naps during the day. I think he was up to 120mgs a day??? Hey, when you're in severe pain I imagine a nap is the only real escape you get from it. So I tried to get him off of it. He wanted to get off of it too and eventually he did. But the pain was so severe he then needed to go to the pain clinic as well as seek relief from a slew of doctors to get enough oxycodone etc to help with the pain. So his life was turned into one big quest of finding enough pain medication to get some relief. He was better off with the guaranteed source of Methodone that he had! He eventually "wore" out practically every doctor in town trying to get prescriptions and was almost "persona non gratis" at the three ERs in town. He was definitely a drug addict but what choices did he really have? He eventually found a psychiatrist at the U of FL (Shands) who would write him prescriptions. My friend had to drive 100 miles round trip every month but at least he was getting his pain medication. That was until the psychiatrist was busted for cocaine abuse!

    I thought that if he got off the Methodone for a long enough period of time that the heightened pain felt from getting off the drug and the withdrawal symptoms would eventually wane. It seemed to me that he feared being without the drugs more than he feared the pain of his injury. But how can I know this? After awhile it becomes a combination of the need to chase the drugs so you don't go through withdrawals as well as needing the drugs for pain relief. It's not a situation that anyone would want to be in. But in the end it should be left up to the individual as to what they want to do with their life. Not some damn politician or bureaucrat in Washington D.C. or some local prosecutor. Again, it's a medical problem that could be handled by the medical community if the government would just back off and not threaten doctors if they appear to be writing too many prescriptions for pain medications.

    If you can't offer pain sufferers other options then stay out of their pain. I think we got the clearest insight from the fellow's wife. She lived with him 24/7 for years and years so would be in the best position to judge the situation. I'm sure she wanted the guy that she married back in her life but thought that he was a much better person when his pain was under some control. That was enough for me to hear.

    I'm just glad that I'm not on anything for pain. Once in awhile I'll get 20 or so oxycodones and do a 3 day inhouse mini-vacation with them. When they're gone and after a week of recuperation I'm so glad to get back to normal again. They wear the hell outta me!!!
    Last edited by bob clark; 01-31-2006 at 01:51 PM.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  5. #15
    Senior Member jukespin's Avatar
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    Wink Parallels?

    Quote Originally Posted by bob clark
    Another example of the two types of justice in this country... one for the rich and well-connected and the other one for the rest of us.

    And now the taxpayers of Florida are keeping him in prison at $50,000 a year plus they paid to have a morphine pump implanted! And they keep it filled with morphine. Isn't there something wrong with this picture?

    The drug laws in this country are sick. The guy has a medical problem and it should be treated like one.
    Great post Bob, and the injustice actually finds its way into small town USA where "little guys" in wheelchairs are confronting "well connected" restauarnt owners.
    "Sometimes I just sets and thinks...
    and sometimes I just sets.
    "

    Otis Redding I think

  6. #16
    i don't understand why they put people in prison for any illegal drug possession?
    how does that make any sense? imagine if possession of alcohol would get you jail time
    cauda equina

  7. #17
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    Tocker,

    The websites painonline.com and painonline.org are great for info on centralpain.
    Alan

    Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by jukespin
    ...injustice actually finds its way into small town USA where "little guys" in wheelchairs are confronting "well connected" restauarnt owners.
    Hi Jukespin,

    I'm sure it does. I'm just not convinced that it did in your case! I don't want to rehash the whole incident but don't you feel as though the police, prosecutor and judge really tried to bend over backwards to find a simple resolution to the criminal charge? After all, your ultimate sentence was "time served" as they dropped the $1,200 fine. I don't think it was your "dream team" public defender that wooed the judge with his or her dazzling and convincing oratory! The judge didn't have to do that, right? You were the one that in effect insisted on going to jail, right? They drove out to your house to have you sign a piece of paper saying that you would appear in court but you refused. It wasn't even a subpoena, was it? Just a notice to appear?

    The only crime that was committed or provable was your answering machine threat, right? And after that was brought to the attention of the prosecutor, by law, he was forced to investigate it, right? I'm sure there must of have been some threatening words exchanged in the restaurant that started this chain of events but people argue all the time in threatening terms and charges aren't usually brought because it's seen as a couple of hot heads letting off steam. Had the tables been turned, and the restaurant owner left a threatening message on your answering machine and you wanted to press criminal charges and the prosecutor refused, he'd be derelict in his duty, right?

    I think the court saw how a simple piece of fish snowballed out of control, and although in your eyes you were standing your ground on principal, they tried to minimize the whole affair by the lenient sentence you ultimately received. Do you agree that they gave you a lenient sentence because they saw this incident as a ridiculous petty argument that got out of control (at many intersections) and they just wanted it to go away? If they wanted to punish you or "teach the little guy in the wheelchair a lesson" they could have, right. There's probably a great range of jail or prison time they could have pursued like a year or two or more?

    I'm still curious about what happened in the restaurant. All I know about it is that you ordered fish and in your opinion was served to you under or uncooked. That's it, right? I recall you said it was late at night??? Were you drinking or under the influence?

    I imagine an argument ensued that got you so riled that after you got home you called the restaurant owner and left the threatening message on his answering machine. Which I think you'll admit wasn't a very smart thing to do, right? If you want to scare or threaten someone you don't do it around witnesses or leave incontrovertible evidence in the form of a recorded phone message!

    In hindsight, IMO, you had two good choices. Send it back to have it cooked some more (happens all the time) or just refuse to pay for it and leave, right? Had he physically restrained you from leaving without paying you could have brought criminal and civil charges on him, right? The most he could have done legally was call the police, right? And the police would have told him it's a civil affair and to take it up in small claims court, right?

    I see the incident as one that got out of control and due to stubbornness or obstinance or perceived principal or whatever wasn't able to be reigned in before the shit hit the fan... er,ah, the shower floor!

    It's funny. I usually agree with most things that you write. And I now see you're posting and interpreting poetry. What the hell is it about fish that gets you so pissed off?!


    Quote Originally Posted by metronycguy
    i don't understand why they put people in prison for any illegal drug possession?
    how does that make any sense? imagine if possession of alcohol would get you jail time
    Hi Metronycguy,

    I think it boils to down to a cultural thing. And a majority rules thing. Back when the marijuana laws were written "Prohibition" had just been repealed because most people wanted alcohol legalized. It was only a small minority of people (mainly loud-mouthed Carry Nation and a few very vocal temperance organizations) that convinced Congress to amend the Constitution (18th Amendment) outlawing alcohol in the first place. The people finally got sick and tired of themselves and their friends being forced into criminal activity just because they wanted to hoist a few. Europeans have always used alcohol as an intoxicant. Smoking marijuana is a South American or Asian intoxicant so doesn't have the history or huge following that alcohol does. Back in the 30s a few in government were able to scare the politicians and public by blaming a lot of society's woes on a simple, calming weed and criminalize it. And then through false and misleading propaganda lump it in with hard drugs like heroin and cocaine. If anywhere, it should be lumped in with alcohol!

    There's no controversy at all over which drug is worse for a society. Alcohol is responsible for immeasurable suffering and countless expense to the country. Pot gives you the munchies and makes you forget to take out the garbage. It's been labeled a "gateway" drug but that's just trash talk they use to demonize it with. It's no more a gateway drug than alcohol is other than the fact that it's illegal and is provided by those who smuggle hard drugs into the country. Even though we have a Bill of Rights there's nothing like majority rule and slick talking lawyers/politicians to bolster the status quo. There are a lot of jobs at stake enforcing the drug laws. And it's a lot easier to make a law than it is to repeal an old one.

    I give it the neighbor test. Would you rather have an alcoholic or a pothead as your neighbor? IMO, there's no real decision to made.... give me a pothead any day!

    As far as hard drugs (heroin, cocaine, meth and even illegally obtained prescription pain meds) are concerned I'm still not convinced that jail or prison sentences help the country at all. It should be handled as a medical problem. And maybe as a legal nuisance since any threat of jail or prison may help convince some people not to use hard and life-altering drugs. The big time drug dealers and kingpins should be severely punished (hey, at least on tax evasion, manufacturing pharmaceuticals without a license and smuggling charges etc.) but chasing after the small-time street dealers and users is a waste of time, money and lives. Either get serious about keeping the drugs out of the country by greatly increasing border security or educate the populace and thereby reduce demand. If people didn't buy the stuff it wouldn't be sold. It's obvious to anyone who wants to see reality that Nixon's so-called War on Drugs has been lost. Only a fool would keep fighting a war in the same way, for so long, that is so obviously unwinnable.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  9. #19
    Senior Member jukespin's Avatar
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    Wink Whole Story?

    Quote Originally Posted by bob clark
    Hi Jukespin,
    I'm sure it does. I'm just not convinced that it did in your case! .
    To give a full answer to your questions would be to attempt to profile the law enforcement and justice systems in El Dorado County as I have come to know them over the past five years. I will do that soon but for now will repost a quote from this thread, one that apparently went by you w/o any qualms or comment:

    "The purpose of the courts is not to dispense justice. Their purpose is to make the public THINK they can obtain justice so they do not take the law into their own hands. The average person could never afford to obtain justice, it is just too expensive" Harvard Law School Professor of Constitutional Law.

    Keeping in mind that I'm not the average person when it comes to income or savings I could invest in attempting to attain justice, I did the things I did as my way of attaining some sort of satisfying approximation.

    (Much more later...)
    "Sometimes I just sets and thinks...
    and sometimes I just sets.
    "

    Otis Redding I think

  10. #20
    Hi Jukespin,

    My post kinda got outta hand (not of unheard of with me) again and I started rehashing old stuff. But I am interested to know how the whole incident began.

    I'm still curious about what happened in the restaurant. All I know about it is that you ordered fish and in your opinion it was served under or uncooked.
    How did the ordinarily innocuous act of getting a bite to eat unravel into such an entangled legal matter?

    "The purpose of the courts is not to dispense justice. Their purpose is to make the public THINK they can obtain justice so they do not take the law into their own hands. The average person could never afford to obtain justice, it is just too expensive" Harvard Law School Professor of Constitutional Law.
    That quote is just one opinion of one Constitutional Law Professor from Harvard. I think the purpose of the courts IS to dispense justice as is legally and humanly possible. I say legally and humanly possible because of the often quoted mantra that "we live in a society of laws, not of men." Bullshit. Men (and women) write the damn laws and dispense its justice. But anyway, how often it fulfills its purpose or goal is the question. There's no doubt that the better defense a defendant is able to put forth, the better the outcome usually is. And if a defendant has an expensive top notch defense attorney who knows how to work the legal system and even the media, the better chance a defendant has of getting a good result. Especially one who knows how to work behind the scenes.... in other words, has a good relationship with the prosecutor and judge. But a good result doesn't always mean justice.

    As an example, good lawyering, money and positive results for a defendant doesn't always equal justice. O.J. Simpson, Robert Blake and Michael Jackson come to mind! These three cases are extreme examples of how good defense lawyering can turn the tables on the usually better funded and equipped prosecutor. And those damn liberal LA County jurors! I just read here and at other outlets, that due to all the new legal TV shows like LA Law and CSI or whatever they are (I don't watch any TV dramas), juries are holding the prosecutors up to a higher standard of proof. They want hard forensic evidence over comprehensive circumstantial evidence.

    I'm really sickened by the behavior of a few prosecutors that I've seen on TV lately. The legal responsibility of a prosecutor is to seek justice (not to seek a verdict in his favor) so he needs to be open-minded and by law needs to produce all evidence, both incriminating AND exculpatory. Some prosecutors, in their misplaced insatiable hunger for a guilty verdict and headlines do their best to quash exculpatory evidence, either legally or illegally, which in both instances is a clear dereliction of their duty. And a failure of the court and to society. Even when new evidence is brought forth (usually by hook and crook by a special appeals team) that does exonerate a convicted person, they still won't admit that they were wrong and at last do their best to correct it.

    In contrast to a defense attorney's only duty, in our adversarial system of justice, of getting his client the best possible outcome. Period.

    The glaring inconsistency with you quoting the Harvard Law Professor and his opinion that the legal system isn't perfect is that you tried to circumvent the system altogether by failing to appear. Do you think anarchy is preferable over our legal system? IMO, your case doesn't seem very complicated as court cases go, so an expensive exemplar-filled defense presentation probably wouldn't have been necessary to fully present the facts. Maybe a large piece of cardboard with the restaurant layout printed on it and a few witnesses. On its face, with clearly incriminating evidence of the recorded phone message threat, you'd have an uphill battle. But look how those lawyers took the Rodney King video tape and explained it away, practically frame by frame. Do you believe your lying eyes or what I'm tellin' ya?! Actually that was an obvious example of how beneficial a cherry-picked venue can be. From the economically depressed and thereby liberal LA County jury pool who are suspicious of the police to the more wealthy and conservative law enforcement supporting jury pool of suburban Simi Valley.

    In any event, whenever the defendant takes the stand and defends himself the jury will overlook a lot of the evidence and base their verdict on the words and demeanor of the defendant. If you could convince them that you were so unfairly treated by the restaurant owner that he provoked you into breaking the law by threatening him via your recorded phone message they could nullify their verdict and let you walk... or wheel. It happens all the time. Personally, if a defendant doesn't take the stand to defend him or herself, I would hold that against him or her. I don't care what the judge's jury instructions say about the defendant's so-called right against self-incrimination! If you're really innocent then proclaim it to the world. Or if there are extenuating circumstances that shed favorable light on your defense then express them to the jury.

    In retrospect, you could have just signed the "notice to appear" that the police, who in my opinion were nice enough to hand deliver to you and had your day in court. Not in front of a judge since you believe they're all crooked in El Dorado County but by a jury of your peers. You could've requested a change of venue although those requests (because of the added expense and inconvenience to witnesses and participants) are usually shot down because the judge who presides over the case makes that determination. Not cool! But it's your Constitutional right to be tried before a jury of your peers... no judge can deny you that. Do you have a system in mind that you feel can better get to the truth and more fairly dispense "justice"? Personally, I would like to see juries have some input into the sentencing phase of a trial. When a judge has the wide-ranging discretion to sentence a defendant to say probabation all the way up to 10 years in prison, IMO, that puts too much power in one person's hands. Contrary to what we've seen in a few highly publicized trials, it usually does boil down to the facts of a case. Not the fancy footwork and oratory skills of the prosecutors and defense lawyers.

    The old adage "If you have the facts on your side, bang on the facts. If you have the legal argument on your side, band on the legal argument. If you have neither then just bang on the table."
    Last edited by bob clark; 02-03-2006 at 10:17 AM.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

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