WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, AND THE POPE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Monday, September 21, 2020

MOSS v. RUMPOLE

 A few posts ago we complained about the politicization of sports. To be fair we have always complained about the jingoism of the NFL and owners turning a game into a forced patriotic moment where there are military jet flyovers and at halftime some poor Gunny Sergeant back from Afghanistan with half his face shot off is reunited with his family. Of course if NFL owners really cared about vets they would give them jobs and set aside a few hundred seats in the lower bowl at the 40-50 yard line and treat military members and their families to a game. But that would cost the owners money. So we have always seen the hypocrisy in the fake patriotic displays especially when most owners did not serve.  

As the nation erupted in flame and violence this spring over racial inequality players began speaking out. The NFL jumped in again with a fake display of solidarity by playing "Lift every voice and sing" but as we reported the Dolphins called them out on that hypocrisy and refused as a team to take the field during the anthems. 

But we also criticized the  players  saying we were paying to watch a game and didn't want to be lectured by players whose own moral backgrounds could be shady. 

Enter Tony Moss who called us to task with this comment: 

Anonymous Tony Moss said...

That's exactly what people like you once said about people like Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, and others who sacrificed in support of a greater cause than scoring buckets or touchdowns. How does history regard those men now? And you have the audacity to suggest that this tradition of Black athletes reaching beyond the gridiron or the court is "forcing" adverse views upon you? After all the adverse views and images that have been scarred into our collective psyche?

And in case you didn't consider it: perhaps that "350-pound Okie" you refer to just might have a thought or perspective on the country he's living in that merits consideration by the rest of us. How condescending of you.

Saturday, September 19, 2020 3:41:00 PM

 Delete

And the thing is...he was 100% correct. Ali was an idol of ours. We remember being a child but old enough to understand the social unrest and battle for civil rights at the time and seeing Smith and Carlos hold up their fists, and being inspired. They truly fought the power. It was a great and courageous act that became an iconic moment. 

We remember the adults we knew who hated Ali. They often not only wanted to see him beat but it was common to hear otherwise normal adults say that they wanted someone to "shut that nigger's mouth" and we use the actual word because we heard the phrase a lot and it made us love Ali even more. He stood up to hate. He stood up the the US government. He said no to war, One exact quote was that no Vietnamese person ever called him a nigger- He asked why he should go fight them? And he was right. He caused us to question the values of the adults we knew and the values of our president and our country. 

So what's the difference now? How could we idolize Smith and Carlos and Ali and Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russel and get angry now when some athlete makes a statement about the current problems in the country? 

Well once we read the stinging and 100% correct rebuke from Tony Moss we spent some time meditating on this. It is not often we are so devastatingly taken down by logic that we cannot refute. 

And to our great discomfort we came to the realization that it was age. We have grown old and closed minded. Oh does that hurt!  As a child Ali and Smith and Carlos and the other athletes were the adults -at least to us they were.  Now in our 50s we look at these 22-30 year olds as no-nothing kids. And yet it was the loud-mouthed kids like Ali and Smith and Carlos  who refused to shut up and changed the world. 

There is more here. More to think about and more to analyze. The athletes who speak out now are of a different generation. They didn't grow up with the overt racism of the "no blacks and jews " signs that littered the landscape of our youth. But they experienced the more insidious racism of economic subjugation.  They could eat wherever they wanted but their mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters didn't have the chance to earn a living to give them money to eat at the restaurant that would serve them. The door was closed -just another way and we have not been sensitive to that. When the "no blacks" signs came down we thought the struggle was won. And we were wrong. And these athletes are saying that and lest we become an old and bitter closed-minded man,  we need to listen to their voices. 

We recall that when Dr. King was killed in Memphis he was there to support a sanitation worker's strike. It was not a black issue. It was an economic issue because as 1968 got under way Dr.  King knew the real struggle was economic equality. But he was struck down before he could make a difference. 

So as our hero Winston Churchill was wont to say- those who do not change their minds do not change anything. We give round one to Tony Moss. It was not even close. We blew it. He kicked out butt with irrefutable logic and opened closed eyes. 

And for that we thank him for continuing to fight the good fight. 



Sunday, September 20, 2020

NFL 2020 WEEK TWO

 Headlines from the survivor pool last week saw lots of long time and great players like former Judge Colby, Memnon, and Judge Faber all falling to the first week jinx. We learned a long time ago- pick a favoutite in week one and then move on.

Last week out picks went 5-0 but no surprise there. This week we find these games worth a few bucks:

Falcons at Cowpokes. Both teams lost last week. We take the Pokes -4 to get the running game going. This is the highest total on the board. 52.5. Take the under. (loss and loss- Pokes won last minute.  

Bills at Fins. The Dolphins will bounce back, but we like the Bills. For them this is a must win division game if they are to be serious. Bills -4.5 (Loss- damn Fins last minute score). 

Lions at Pack. Best bet of the day. Go PACK!. Green Bay -6 at home. EZ.  (Win- finally)

Late games to get even- 

Ravens -7 over Texans  

Cards over the Washington Football Team (how dumb is that name) -6.5

Seahawks over Cheaters Sunday night -3.5. 

Survivor pool up shortly. Get your picks in. 


week two by HR on Scribd

  
Covid 19- late pick Seahawks  

COMING MONDAY: The legendary litigator and REGJB irregular Tony Moss took Rumpole to task for a recent post. Who won the exchange? The results may surprise you.  Only on the best Covid-legal blog around. Monday. 

Friday, September 18, 2020

RBG HAS DIED

 SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBERG HAS DIED. 

THIS HAS ENORMOUS IMPLICATIONS. 

MORE LATER 

UPDATE:

Who says the almighty doesn't have a sense of humor? 

Could you have created a more Hollywood script then the blocking of Judge Merrick Garland in the last months of the Obama  Administration only to have RBG die in the last months of the first term of the Trump Presidency? 

Here is what we know: The Republicans drew a bright line in the sand when they blocked Judge Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court. They do not believe Supreme Court Judges should be approved when there is a pending presidential election....unless the Judge who dies was appointed by a Democrat AND there is a Republican president. THEN the analysis is that you cannot have an 8-8 court heading into an election that could be contested. Under those circumstances the Republican President should nominate a replacement and the senate should quickly confirm him or her. Anyone have Judge Francis's phone number? Barbara Lagoa is brushing off her financial disclosure forms. 

The Democrats know that they cannot stop a nominee being appointed in the face of a united Republican front. Senator Lindsey Graham (Rep. Kiss ass) is denying the video recording of him saying during the Garland fiasco four years ago that he would never approve a republican nominee in similar circumstances in the next administration. 

There are mumblings that the Constitution does not set the number of Judges required for the Supreme Court. They could pack the Court in the Biden administration- appointing three or four judges to tilt the balance of the Court. Query- where would the new justices sit? Would they put up a tent in the back with AC for their chambers? Would they have to build an annex? 

There are even more rough times ahead for our struggling democracy. This we are sure of. Many scenarios show that president Trump could win the popular vote on election day only to lose valuable states needed for an electoral college win when the mail-in votes are counted. That could send the Trump supporters (a/k/a white supremacists) into the streets. If you think we had social unrest before when a bunch of aging out of shape white lawyers were marching and shouting "black lives matter" wait until these jack-booted paramilitary thugs take to the streets at the urging of the president on Twitter. 

Yes dear readers, the almighty has a sense of humor. Our democracy is going to be tested like never before. And personally, we put the odds at 50/50 we survive. No guarantees here. 

Stay safe. 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

RAGE AND CHAOS

 A few random thoughts heading into the weekend, starting with the new Bob Woodward book Rage. 

The hero of Rage, the account of the Trump Administration that starts with the beginning of Trump's term is retired General Jim "Chaos" Mattis. "Maddog" was a media nickname that Trump seized on that appealed to him. Chaos was his military call sign because of the chaos his unconventional ideas created on the battlefield for the enemy. 

Rather than being some uncontrolled military maddog. Mattis comes off as the only adult in the room. Well read, historically knowledgeable, Mattis spent a considerable amount of time trying to educate the ignorant and undisciplined commander in chief of the value of alliances. Along the way, as Trump and North Korea brought the world to the edge of a nuclear conflict,  Mattis began to contemplate the unthinkable- recommending  a nuclear response to North Korea's bellicose use of ICBMs - some of which had the potential to strike deep into the United States.  A work group was formed that met electronically whenever any North Korean missile launch was detected.  Mattis had a second car follow him wherever he was. The car didn't carry security personnel. Rather the car carried the equipment necessary for him to join the meeting when a missile was launched. When in DC he slept in gym clothes so he didn't have to dress if he had to rush to the Pentagon and he had a blinking light installed in his bathroom in case there was a missile  launch when he was in the shower. When a launch was detected Mattis led the group that had to decide what the trajectory was; whether the US was threatened; whether the missile had a warhead on it and whether Mattis should order the launch of missile interceptors and alert the president about whether a nuclear response was needed.  Mattis didn't sleep much. 

Here is a quote from what Mattis thought about Trump's public criticism of America's foreign alliances. America needed allies: "It was inexplicable to think otherwise. It was indefensible. It was jingoism. It was a misguided form of nationalism It was not patriotism.

The second hero from the book- another adult in the room- was Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson, who comes off more seasoned and prepared for the job than the media portrayed. When both were announced as nominees Tillerson invited Mattis to dinner where Mattis proposed a collaboration. Tillerson would be out front on foreign policy and Mattis would have his back. He would stay in the shadows as he revamped the military but always be ready to back up Tillerson with the might of America's armed forces if needed. Neither of them contemplated what would undo both of them- a president who tried to run world affairs through Twitter. 

OTHER THOUGHTS

We have in the past criticized the NFL for it's jingoistic approach to nationalism. Football games did not need to start with jet fighter flyovers and ultrapatriotic displays. Real patriotism was not something that was worn on a sleeve. In the same way that we view real charity- it is best done anonymously so the act is real and not done for any other purpose like publicity.  We recently learned that the US armed forces paid for those NFL pre-game demonstrations. 

Now things are worse. We have two anthems when we should have none. We have more displays about a player's personal views of society when none of that matters or should matter. Of course during times of crisis, a show of national unity- like what occurred after the assassination of JFK or after 9-11 is appropriate. But we should not be subjected to how some player, who most likely did not graduate college and perhaps in their private life cheats on his family- feels about racism or socio-economic issues. They have every right to express themselves on social media. We do not appreciate their views being forced on us. And when we say "their views" we mean the views of the owners, the players, the coaches, the trainers, whomever. We call for the end of both anthems at the start of every sports game. Most fans are standing around chatting, sipping their beer, and otherwise ignoring the anthem anyway.  The Miami Dolphins had it right last week when they called the NFL's show of concern for racial unrest in the US as fake. The Dolphins refused to participate- unfortunately that carried over to their offense during the game. 

There is still chatter of judges trying to start jury trials before it is safe to do so. We do not confine our remarks to Miami. This includes areas of Florida where judges had to be threatened by CJ Canady to wear a mask in court or he would personally file a JQC complaint. The same counties where sheriffs refused to enforce mask requirements and made statements that Covid was fake news.  It is those counties where lawyers will be forced into court and risk their lives to try a DUI or resisting without violence case and we will be watching, ready to pounce- blog wise. 


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

FACDL AND DE LA O SQUARE OFF OVER PVHS

 There are Judges who approach the REGJB pantheon of greatness. Judge Ed Cowart is the standard by which all REGJB judges are measured. In more recent times Judge Murphy was a favourite of both the state and defense for the way he ran his courtroom and his well reasoned and fair decisions. The same can be said for Judge Miguel De La O. He works hard at his job. Other judges have been known to commit felonious acts to get a copy of his well regarded case law email updates.  And now Judge De La O finds himself at the center of a standoff between the criminal defense bar, which does NOT want to proceed via ZOOM for probation violation hearings, and Judge De La O, who reads into the Supreme Court's Administrative Orders on proceeding electronically nothing- nada-zilch- zero- reasons preventing a PVH taking place via zoom. Although he didn't say it, defense attorneys want their cake (bond hearings via zoom) and to eat it as well (no PVHs via Zoom). Can't we all just get along? 

Apparently not.  If you should find yourself awake in the wee hours of any morning, unable to sleep, take a gander at the below litigation: The FACDL's motion, and Judge De La O's DENIED order. Because he is a good judge, De La O has rescheduled the hearing giving time for the defense and FACDL to take a writ to the Third.  No fear of appellate review is he.  As the old joke goes: "How do you get to the 3rd DCA? Lose a motion and take a writ." Ba dum dum. 

Here are the motion and order. The warning label states to not drive or operate large machinery after reading the motion and order. 


Zoom Hearing Objection Clarington w Facdl (1) by HR on Scribd

 
If you are still awake, here is the order.

Order Overruling Objection to Zoom Probation Violation Hearing (1) by HR on Scribd

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

WHY PHASE TWO DOES NOT MATTER

 As a young man returning from Vietnam, John Kerry appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1975 and famously said "how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam?"

We pose this questions to the Chief Judges of Florida: "How do you ask a lawyer or juror or trial judge or clerk to die for a trial?"

Because "Phase Two" is just a phrase that is meaningless in a pandemic. The so called "good news" coming from Judicial Circuits and Counties across Florida is that various counties are entering Phase Two is nothing but an artificially created term.  For Courts, Phase Two is defined as 

No confirmed or suspected cases of COVID‐19 in the court facility within a 14‐day  period; or if confirmed or suspected cases have occurred in the court facility, deep  cleaning and disinfecting of exposed areas and applicable employee self‐quarantine  actions have been implemented.  2. Rescission of local and state restrictive movement and/or stay‐at‐home orders. 3. Improving COVID‐19 health conditions over a 14‐day period in the community,  including conditions such as the number of confirmed COVID‐19 cases and related  deaths in relation to a community’s population density, downward trajectory of  positive tests as a percent of total tests, size of particularly vulnerable populations,  and availability of medical facilities including emergency and intensive care capacity.  4. Adequate testing programs in place, increased availability of COVID‐19 tests, and  emerging antibody testing. 

Here is the problem: On September 11, 2020 Florida registered 3,650 cases. There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. One statistic is that the number on 9/11 is a 66% reduction from the high point of infections. But the other way of looking at it is that 3,650 souls on ONE DAY got infected with a disease which can and will kill some of them. And a similar amount were infected the day before and a similar amount will be infected the day after. By the time you read this, more than 10,000 Floridians will be newly infected with Covid-19. Yipee! The numbers are falling- except tens of thousands of people are still being infected every week. These are not the conditions under which it is safe to bring people back into aging Courthouses. Does anyone realize YOU CANNOT OPEN A WINDOW IN THE REGJB OR FAMILY COURT OR JUVENILE COURT? 

Feel like picking six? 

Full disclosure: Judge Soto has repeatedly made it clear that Miami will move very slowly and the announcement of phase two does not equal restarting the jury trial engine. Good for her. But this post is not aimed at just Miami-Dade, although Mr. Markus reported on his blog Tuesday that Judge Moore is sniffing around re-starting Federal Court sooner than January 2021. Nothing in this post is meant to imply criticism of the Miami -Dade State court Judges making this decision. This is a critique of Phase Two- it is meaningless. 

THE VIRUS IS SPREAD BY AEROSOLS: 

The CDC and WHO are resisting what science is telling the world- that the virus is spread by aerosols. Which means 1) Deep cleaning is mostly meaningless. The CDC now recognizes that "fomite transmission" (contact with objects) of Covid-19 is rare. A study of handwashing in England showed a slight decrease in infections; 2) Six feet separation as a safety measure is a fraud.  Six foot separation protects from droplet infection which occurs only when someone coughs or sneezes. No coughing or sneezing makes 6 foot separation meaningless. 

What the CDC and WHO do not want to acknowledge is that Covid-19 is spread by aerosols, not droplets. Aerosols are much smaller than droplets. Whereas gravity affects a droplet (like a cough or a sneeze) and brings it to the ground within moments, an aerosol containing Covid-19 can linger in the air for up to eight hours. 

To understand the scale of aerosols, the diameter of a human hair is about 80 microns, and aerosols smaller than about 50 microns can float in the air long enough to be inhaled. SARS-CoV-2 is only 0.1 microns in diameter, so there is room for plenty of viruses in aerosols.

Imagine a building full of hundreds of people exhaling aerosols smaller than what a mask can trap. How do you get around? It doesn't matter if you only allow one person in an elevator at a time- the aerosols from the last dozen people are in the air. Who wants to sit in a courtroom with 30, 40, 50 members of venire breathing out aerosols that can kill you? It only takes one asymptomatic person to infect a room. 

ER Doctor: I am sorry to tell you that you have Covid-19 and we have to put you on a ventilator.

Lawyer: Cough...cough...please...cough...run another...cough cough ....test. I cannot be ....positive...cough....I was only ....cough...in Court....cough cough cough...after they declared....cough cough ....phase two. How....cough cough...can I have gotten .....cough cough ...sick? 

One need only look at what is happening on college campuses across the country to understand that the simple fact of this disease is that it infects people when they are brought together and social distancing and handwashing and deep cleaning does  not stop transmission of infections. 

And one thing we know for sure is that Covid-19 cares not that a Chief Judge in Podunk County declares Phase Two for the County. 

What aerosol infections mean is that Phase two is meaningless. It is simply NOT SAFE to be inside around people who are breathing. If your judge promises to hold their breath during the hearing, then maybe. But otherwise, as difficult as this is for the Court System of Florida, it is not safe to hold in person hearings and trials until there is quick testing (five minutes or less) AND a safe an effective vaccine. Under those circumstances, a person seeking to enter a courthouse needs to take a five minute test and have been vaccinated. 

Only then will it be safe for people to appear in court. 

Until then, who wants to die for a jury trial? 

Monday, September 14, 2020

GOV. DESANTIS TO NAME (maybe) NEWEST FLA. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE .......


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

GOVERNOR NAMES JUDGE JAMIE GROSSHANS

Grosshans serves as a judge on the Florida Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach. She was an assistant state attorney in Orlando before going into private practice and then becoming a judge. In private practice she specialized in family law, including divorce, custody cases, and adoptions. She got her law degree from the University of Mississippi. She is a member of the Federalist Society.

Grosshans has been a member of The Florida Bar for less than 14 years. She began her legal career as an ASA in Orange County where she worked for one year. She spent nearly ten years in private practice running her own law firm which specialized in family law and criminal defense. She was appointed to the County Court bench in 2017 at the age of 38 by then Governor Rick Scott.  In 2018, Scott elevated Judge Grosshans to the 5th DCA. So, in just three years, Judge Grosshans has risen from the County Court bench all the way to the Florida Supreme Court.
=============================================


TAKE YOUR WRIT OF MANDAMUS AND SHOVE IT WHERE .....


Well, that’s not an exact quote from the esteemed Harvard educated, Trump-loving, Governor DeSantis, but it might as well have been.

BREAKING UPDATE:

The Florida Supreme Court has now officially entered their WRIT OF MANDAMUS ORDERING THE GOVERNOR TO MAKE THE APPOINTMENT BY FIVE PM. The ORDER can be found here.

FURTHER BREAKING NEWS:

At 5 PM today, Governor DeSantis will hold a press conference in Tallahassee where he is expected to name our next justice.

To recap:

In November of 2019, Florida Supreme Court Justices Robert Luck and Barbara Lagoa both resigned and accepted appointments to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. In December of 2019. the Florida Supreme Court JNC, they of the "if you are not a member of the Federalist Society" don’t bother to apply group, interviewed 32 candidates for the two open seats on the Supreme Court of Florida. Those candidates included several "qualified" persons of color including our own Judge William Thomas and Judge Daryl Trawick of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida.

On January 23, 2020, the JNC sent nine names to the Governor, only one of which was someone of color, and that person, Judge Renatha Thomas, was NOT qualified to sit on the Supreme Court of Florida.

Under the Florida Constitution, the words state that the Governor shall appoint a judge from the nominating list within 60 days of receiving the names. Well, Ron "call me the textual" Governor DeSantis, ignored the text of the Constitution and blew the March 23, 2020 deadline.

Finally, more than two months after the March 23 constitutionally prescribed (in words actually written in the Florida Constitution) deadline, the Governor "appointed" two replacements, John Couriel and Renatha Francis.

Of course, at the time of her "appointment", on May 26, 2020, Judge Francis was NOT qualified to serve by virtue of her not being a member of the Florida Bar for at least ten years. This requirement also appears, in words actually written, in the Florida Constitution.

In stepped elected Democratic state Rep. Geraldine Thompson from Windermere who filed suit in the Florida Supreme Court asking them to rule that Francis cannot sit on the court because she was not "qualified". After a hiccup in that lawsuit when Thompson had to file an Amended Complaint, the High Court finally ruled in Thompson’s favor. Five justices stated (Couriel did not participate in the decision) in a unanimous opinion that:

"The constitution’s 10-year Bar membership requirement and 60-day appointment deadline are bright-line textual mandates that impose rules rather than standards and prioritize certainty over discretion," the justices wrote. They continued: "To some, enforcing rules like these might seem needlessly formalistic when the result is to preclude the appointment of an otherwise qualified candidate. But "formalism," as Justice Scalia observed, "is what makes a government a government of laws and not of men."

They ordered DeSantis to name a justice from the list of seven remaining nominees by NOON today. Well, guess what, the Governor blew that deadline too.

In a comedy sketch right out of Saturday Night Live, the Governor’s legal team attempted to defend the "appointment" of Francis, by arguing that she was not actually appointed on May 26th, but instead, the Governor was only making an "announcement". The Court mentioned that that argument was ludicrous and pointed to the Governor’s previous pleadings where they stated that she was "appointed" and even his Press Release which stated:

May 26, 2020 Press release from Governor DeSantis:

"Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Judge Renatha Francis to the Florida Supreme Court. Francis’ appointment fills the vacancy of former Florida Supreme Court Justice Robert Luck, who now serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit after being appointed by President Donald Trump."

So, what has the Governor done so far, instead of naming a replacement for Judge Luck.

DeSantis took his show to the road, and last Wednesday, in Miramar, he stood on the stage with several elected black mayors (all Democrats) and excoriated the Florida Supreme Court for denying the citizens of Florida the chance for him to make history by appointing a Jamaican black female to the high court. In what can only be described as out of this world, Judge/Justice/Judge Francis not only appeared on the stage, but she spoke at the rally. (There must be a few Judicial Canons against that activity).
 
YOUR NEWEST FLORIDA SUPREME COURT JUSTICE, MAY OR MAY NOT BE NAMED AT SOME POINT TODAY .....

..... From the list of seven nominees remaining.

The remaining nominees are:

Judge Jonathan Gerber (Fourth District Court of Appeal)

Judge Jamie Grosshans (Fifth District Court of Appeal)

Judge Norma Lindsey (Third District Court of Appeal)

Judge Timothy Osterhaus (First District Court of Appeal)

Eliot Pedrosa (executive director, InterAmerican Development Bank)

Judge Lori Rowe (First District Court of Appeal)

Judge Meredith Sasso (Fifth District Court of Appeal)
 

CAPTAIN OUT .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com





RAINY DAYS AND MONDAYS

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT UPDATE: High noon has come and gone and no new Justice for the Tallahassee Eight. So Our own Captain called the Governor and his press office said this:

“Governor DeSantis will be making an announcement about Judge Renatha Francis and the future of the Florida Supreme Court today” 

Booyah! 


As the song goes, "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down." Add to that a pandemic, a large part of the American West going up in flames, and multiple active tropical systems in the North Atlantic and Caribbean Seas.  If you are looking for a cheer-me-up- click on over to Mr. Markus's blog where perhaps they are discussing Judge Lagoa's chance to be the only judge to actively serve simultaneously as a a Justice on the Florida and US Supreme Courts. 

PANDEMIC NEWS:

Israel has so mishandled the pandemic that it is now going back to a full-shutdown as orthodox religious groups who have stores that do big business in the run-up to the high-holiday season threaten to ignore the government's order. In other words- civil unrest. 

Florida races to phase two openings in counties and court systems. We will have more to say in a later post this week on why pandemics, like recalcitrant two-year-olds, ignore rules. Suffice to say that when over 3,000 Floridians a day are still getting infected is no time to open bars and indoor dinning-even at 50% capacity. 

GLOBAL WARMING IS A FRAUD

The best way to deal with science that you do not like is to ignore it. The US has shown that over the last twenty years. Remember the applause and wild ecstasy the phrase "drill baby drill" caused ten years ago? Recall the current administration's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. The agreement was nothing more than a European plan to thwart American Exceptionalism. Americans - unlike any other people on earth- were given by the God himself the right to drive large pick-up trucks and SUVs. God ordained the burning of coal, otherwise he wouldn't have put so much of it in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Right? 

There is nothing more American than getting out of a coal mine shift, driving to 7-11 for a big gulp of diet soda before heading home to eat some fried chicken and watch football on Saturday and Sunday. This is what allowed our boys to storm the beaches of Normandy in June 1944. It wasn't some silly European concept like science or education. Such things did not allow Dr. Salk to invent the polio vaccine. It was big cars, big soda, big servings of greasy food and Football. Baseball. Hot dogs. Apple Pie and Chevrolet. 

And now we are paying the price for ignoring science as people in San Francisco awake to dystopian scenes of orange days. Fires surround Portland, Oregon. Thousands of people have lost their homes. Hundreds are dead. Has any one considered whether the farms of  California can continue to feed the country? Whether the fires have so upset the ecological balance of bees, birds, rain, sun, trees and soil that once the dust clears the farms will no longer produce food?  "Drill baby drill". 

This, dear readers, is fake news: 


So is this:


The Paris Climate accord will not stop this. Global warming did not cause this. We did not drill enough. Because Americans are exceptional, right? Science does not apply to us. Education at liberal colleges is part of the deep state that causes these problems. 

Covid-19 isn't a pandemic. It is nothing to be afraid of. It will "disappear like a miracle" because there is no reason to listen to doctors and scientists who trained their whole lives for this event. Science and technology did not allow the United States to be the only country to land a man on the moon. American exceptionalism did. The belief that we are better and different and entitled because our fathers and grandfathers and great grand fathers bravely fought at places like Belleau Wood, The Ardennes Forrest, The Chosin reservoir, and Khe Sanh. The fact that Buzz Aldrin had -in 1963 while a major in the US Air Force- earned a doctorate from MIT in Orbital Mechanics for his thesis on "line of sight guidance for manned orbital rendezvous"  had nothing to do with the success of the first moon landing. Right? 

Of course we are being sarcastic. We are paying the price and will continue to pay the price for ignoring science. But what is even worse is the 35-40% of Americans who believe what we wrote. That Harvard, and MIT and the University of Chicago and Stanford are not the backbones of a great University system whose leaders can help cool the planet and find a vaccine for Covid-19. That Americans do not succeed because we are innovative and educated. That Americans succeed because they are simply entitled to succeed because of some brave act our ancestors performed on foreign battlefields 60, 80, or a hundred years ago (do any of our readers even understand what occurred at Belleau Wood? Did anyone bother to talk to Sy Gaer about the fighting at the Chosin Reservoir? Much the shame for that.)

We should be rightfully proud of what our soldiers did in the wars we allude to. But the fallacy in the American Exceptionalism /Greatest Generation argument that those who hate scientists and doctors miss, is that the boys who picked up a rifle and held a line in a Belgium Forrest  or Korea or stormed a French Beach did so because they believed that they were preserving a country that promised a better life to their children through freedom, science and education- the very values those who support our current president despise. 

We are 50 days away from a Presidential Election that may well tear the country apart. Far from being the beacon of democracy, we may turn into a backwater dictatorship where votes are discounted and the will of the people thwarted by jack-booted thugs who march in support of their dictator while the Country burns from riots and Santa Ana winds. 

Drill baby drill.