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. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

COSTS

The Iraq war costs $177M per day, $7.4M per hour and $122,820 per minute.

Here is nice little up to the minute War Cost counter
: COST OF WAR .

The Cost of a tooth extraction for a child varies from $100.00 to $500.00.

Bob Herbert a columnist for the NY Times wrote about 12 year old Deamonte Driver, of Prince George’s County, Maryland. We should note that Prince Georges County is not that far from Washington DC. Perhaps less than 100 miles.

Young Deamonte Driver had an abscessed tooth. A dentist offered to extract it for $80.00. Driver’s mother could not afford the fee, so when the pain got bad she took her son to the emergency room of the local hospital. The hospital gave Deamonte some pain killers and medicine for sinusitis and sent him home.

On February 25 2007, in agony, Deamonte died when the bacteria from the abscess spread to his brain.

We spend $122,000 A MINUTE for a mistake. A mistake in intelligence. A mistake in believing our elected representatives. A mistake that will haunt our country, like Vietnam has, for decades.

We cannot spend $80.0 damn dollars to save a child’s life. A life in which that child may have grown into the next Dr. Pasteur; or Picasso; or Beethoven, or Bill Gates. Without such delusions of grandeur, shouldn't American children be entitled to grow up with adequate health care. Shouldn't Deamonte have been able to reach his teen years; fall in love; get his heart broken; play sports; go to the movies; get married; have children of his own? Shouldn't a child in a country that calls itself the greatest society on earth have a decent chance of not dying from a tooth ache before the age of 20?

Would this have happened to Deamonte in Canada? or England? or France? Or Germany? Or Russia?


Bob Herbert quoted Nelson Mandela:
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul
than the way in which it treats its children.”

We have spent close to half a trillion dollars for the mistakes of our president and vice president ( and we are generous when we use the term mistake; one could easily make the case for “lies”).



Lets say circa 2001 there was no terrorist attack. Lets say that the people of Iraq in 2002 rose up on their own and peacefully overthrew Saddam Hussein.
The question is this: without a war on terrorism and a war overseas pending, would we as a society have agreed to spend one quarter of the cost of the war in Iraq on our children’s health over the next ten years? Would we have agreed to spend 10 billion a year more on health care for the 9 million uninsured children in this country? 10 billion is a lot of money. You can do a lot with 10 billion dollars.

10 billion dollars is what we are spending every 65 days in Iraq.

Think about it.

Think about all the lost lives in Iraq.
Think about all the lost opportunities and all the better ways we could have used that 400 billion dollars we have already spent.

And think about Deamonte Driver. Dead at age 12. George Bush and the Republicans would and have gladly spent 400 billion dollars to stop a terrorist from shooting Deamonte. But they wouldn’t spend an extra 80 bucks to have his tooth pulled.

We reflect on Nelson Mandela's quote and we come to this conclusion: we are not the greatest society on earth. Far from it. We are not the greatest country in the world. Whatever claim we had to greatness we have squandered. We may have had the greatest generation that saved the world from totalitarianism. We may have put men on the moon. But we can't protect the lives of our most valuable resource- children. And we continually vote for duplicitous and deceitful men whose only defense of their right to lead is that they are prayerful and believe in the lord.

George Bush hasn't squandered our greatness. We have. By voting for him. Twice.

See You in Court.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Deamonte lived in Maryland. The state is run by...gasp!..DEMOCRATS.

So why did the Democrats kill Deamonte? Can't they afford 80 bucks?

Anonymous said...

To Rumpole: Congratulation on your eloguent rebuke of the War. Now be prepared to be put on the government watch list so you can be harassed when you travel by air, leave the country. And expect government monitoring of your blog, possible wiretapping of your phones, tax audit, and a growing FBI file. All because you don't like hearing that 3500 Americans are dead, 20000 are seriously injured, all because asshole Bush I was head of the CIA and likes to play war games.

Rumpole said...

3:08 pm- typical "rush limbaugh" moronic crass remark that devalues the life of a child. Maryland didn't spend 400 billion on a war. If the feds didn"t spend 400 billion and instead gave every state 5 billion for child health care- we'd have 150 billion in the bank, and Maryland would have child health care that would have saved Deamonte.

3:39- Longtime and careful readers of the blog know that I have a vastly different opinion of the Father Bush 41 than the son Bush 43. The numbers refer to which number president they were. Bush 41 was an educated, experienced, and respected leader. He and his cabinet knew the horrors of war. He took us to war- we won, and got out. He had no grudge against Hussein. His idiot son did. One was a professional politican and public servant who didn't try to win votes by wearing his religion on his sleeve. The other is an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Our children and our grandchildren will ask us, "How did you let this happen?"

So soon after the bloody debacle of Vietnam, we did it again...this time with probably worse results.

All of us who have spent even a minute discussing Paris Hilton or American Idol should hang our heads. We are squandering or good judgement, our political energy and our intellect on trash. Meanwhile this government and this war march on. Where is the rage? Where is the shame? Where is the political will to stop this?

Anonymous said...

I'm amused by how this is George Bush's fault. Why don't you ream the dentist for not performing a little dental "pro-bono" work?

Anonymous said...

Bush 1 took us to war over oil and did not finish the job. Bush 2 went to war over assassination attempt by Iraq on Bush 1 while Clinton was President. Bush 2 also is from Texas and the war is about Texas Tea. Recent news article about New Orleans displaced persons from Hurricane Katrina said the Houston job market is better than ever due to oil and gas profits. It has always been about oil and gas prices and Bush 1 got us started there to bail out kuwait. What the fuck is Kuwait? We don't go to war with Idi Amin, Koumer rouge,Somalia,Stalin, Hitler until 12/7/41, North Korea having 1 million starve to death while we have a military base nearby. Its about the Benjamins, always has been always will be. Unfortunately I suffer from having parents who raised me to have morals and ethics so I have no future as a republican. Hey, as long as none of the caualties are from Yale, Exeter, Harvard and Choate what's the problem.?

Rumpole said...

4:03- There is nothing about this amusing. The death of this child is not Bush's fault. The decay of our society is. We elected him (maybe at best). He lied. He was stupid. And just imagine what our society would be like if we saved half the money we spent in Iraq: lower taxes!! something near and dear to every conservative's heart unless the taxes are for weapons.
And a new improved society. Better health care. Repair of infrastructure. New schools, roads, bridges, better health care for veterans (of course Bush isn't a veteran so why should he care? Neither is Cheney. He dodged the war as well). Just imagine what 200 billion could have done. Not to mention 3000+ Americans, 100,000 + Iraqi's still alive to live their lives in peace.

But no- No health care. No new society. Just money for Haliburton and the war. Enjoy. You elected him.Not me.

Anonymous said...

Fake RUSH LIMBAUGH SAYS: With a name like Deamonte I can surmise that this child was African-American and obviously came from a home with a single mother who had the child out of wedlock and does not know who the father is or she could get child support, assuming he is not in prison or on crack. The failure lies in the African American community to help their own. Are there no black dentists in Maryland who could provide pro bono service or work out a payment plan? Is the mother that devoid of intelligence to go to a cheaper clinic or perhaps offer sexual favors as a down payment. My third wife was not opposed to soliciting money from me whenever I wanted a reach around. Of course it is disingenuous to suggest that this women could have asked for help from any number of black entertainers and athletes. If Michael Vick spent less money on dog fighting this tragedy would not have occurred. Don't blame the white aristocracy-where was Shaq and Oprah when this young man needed 80 dollars. I bet this mother could have disconnected her cable tv or pawned some of her bling blong to pay for her kid. She is probably a nappy headed ho like those Rutgers girls, classical piano my ass. And now for our commercial break. At Smith Barney we can help you if you have more than 4 cars, 3 homes and 100 million dollars to invest. For a free consultation please call 1-800-I have no compassion and will be judged harshly at the pearly gates, or attend our seminars in Naples, Greenwich, Palm Beach, Sarasota, The Hamptons and Beverly Hills. signed 'El Rushbo.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole:

If anyone gave a shit about kids and oral health, Mike Fernandez wouldn't be making millions by providing scant care through his HMO.

From what I've read in the Herald, which was sued for the coverage, Fernandez's company gets paid millions based on the number of kids enrolled in his dental HMO. His company's profits come from money NOT spent on services. You can see how the incentives stack up. Enroll lots of kids. Provide the barest amount of service. Profit. Contribute massive amounts to the politicians who set you up. Lather, rinse repeat.

I'd care, except poor people smell bad.

Batman said...

Rumpole -

Let us not forget that the first election was stolen and we (the people) did not elect Bush II. As eloquently stated on a lisense plate I saw "GORE 1 FL".

I cannot excuse the electorate of 2004, except to ask: Why did it have to be Kerry? Horrible, awful campaign.

I have very personal reasons why I am afraid. Those would give some clue as to who I am, so they will not be discussed, but suffice it to say, as I have said before, old men are awfully free with the lives of other people's children. If old men had to go to war and fight there would be no wars.

As to Bush I vs Bush II, Bush I stopping short of Bagdad was for exactly the reasons we are living today. Huessein was harmless to us as he was, controlled and fairly compliant, but a major barrier protecting the rest of the Middle East. All those in the real know realized what would happen without him there.

The truth be told, who really gave a damn if he killed his own people? That was their fight, not ours. I would not care now, let them all kill each other, except now the consequences are far more severe. Wish someone had a real answer. Noone really does.

Did we learn nothing from Viet Nam? I fear another 50,000 dead Americans all sacrificed in the name of pride and power. God help us all.

Anonymous said...

WHEW its getting deep in Dade County ,but RUSHBO is right ,where was Al Sharpton and Rev JJ they could have diverted some funds from their girlfriends bling to help out !!!!!

Rumpole said...

Sharpton and Jackson do not speak for all ( or in my opinion ) any poor people- nor do they represent the mainstream of those people opposed to the war- just like Rush "take some illegal drugs" Limbaugh or Jerry Falwell do not speak for all conservatives. Your point is childish, divisive, and not really a response. To support the waste of our national treasury and resources because two idiots who say they are reverends and want to speak for those against the war is plain dumb. Tell me you have a better reason to support the President than that. Tell me there is more to your intellectual thought process than what you hear on talk radio. Please.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole: Sitting through the rain, I logged on to the Blog expecting to read some pithy comments about the news of the day around our beloved Justice Building. Obviously, the end of the Court's three-day holiday could not have come too soon! Rumpole, I am disappointed in the Iraq, Anti-War, Anti-Bush43 set up leading to the blast of Bush bashing comments.

Rump: some of us are Republicans and others are Democrats--some supported the War as a necessary evil (as all wars are) and others see the war as nothing more than a deliberate and fiendish crime. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Have we all forgotten 9/11. The fear. The tears. Unfortunately, some of us lost friends. Maybe we wanted revenge at any cost. We will have to deal with our own conscience on these points.

Nevertheless, the problem, Rumpole, is that your original blog opened up the flood gates to issues that divide us in a most hateful way. ("They" say the two topics that should never be debated among friends are religion and politics, perhaps how true) If this discussion had lead to a genuine articulate and thoughtful discussion of the issues, worthy of debate and consideration, we would be all for it. Instead, the brash, rude, bumper sticker attacks do nothing more then bring us all down to the gutter. We're lawyers! Why do we not strive to use our talents and articulate our point of view as if we were before a jury. Like Henry Fonda in "12 Angry Men", "convince me, I'm not convinced!" Improvise, show compassion--but be eloquent!

I have lamented, previously, that we should strive to present our profession in a positive light, for the sake of all of us. Instead, Rumpole, your comment on "Costs" served to do little more than flame the fires of discontent and to take another shot at the President. Whether you, (and I mean a collective "you") respect the man or not, at least show respect for the office. I take no pleasure in saying that I am disappointed, but Rumpole, you have disappointed me. I expected more from you.

Anonymous said...

Ayn Rand must be rolling over in her grave after reading this latest posting of yours, Rumpole. I'm glad to see that you've finally come around to socialism. Vive la revolution!

Anonymous said...

Rumpole: This just in. Rush Limbaugh is offering to pay the funeral expenses of Deamonte in lieu of one month of Cuban cigars and caviar.

Anonymous said...

Fake Rush Limbaugh here: mega dittos to my fellow republicans aka my shit don't stink party of America. My apologies to the following aristocratic communities, my ommission was not meant to be disrespectful of your accumulated wealth: Windemere, Coral Gables, East Side of Manhattan, Grosse Point, Newport and Huntington Beach,Georgetown, Scottsdale, Palm Springs, Highland Park and wherever else rich assholes who hate minorities live.

Rumpole said...

6:07. I appreciate your comments. If you read my comments in the comments section here you will see that I do not believe this is a Republican versus Demccrat issue, especially since I believe the two parties are the same side of the coin. One will sacrifice your earnings to the state (democrats) one will sacrifice your child (republicans).

I was angry. I read about this little boy dying because of lack of medical care and it made me ashamed to be an American. This would not have happened in most other countries that we think we are better than.

We have looted our treasury; we have killed 3000+ soliders- for what? A mistake!!!! In Darfur, there is a genocide- not one US Solider is there helping. We could be doing that- if we hadn't depleted our armed forces and treasury while a bunch of amateurs tried to run this war. And if you don't think the "amateurs" tag is correct- read some of the articles by Brent Scrowcroft and some of the original "neo-cons" about how badly the peace was mismanaged.

Anonymous said...

I think the kid died of malpractice at the emergecy room. They gave him painkillers and sinus medications. You don't have to be a doctor to know that sinusitis and toothaches give pretty much the same type of pain (anyone who's had both conditions knows), therefore the doctors should have done an X-ray and given the kid the necessary antibiotics. I almost got killed by an ER doctor's misdiagnosis, and I had insurance.

I'm a Democrat and I agree with your assessment on the war and Bushes 1 and 2, however, the kid's death was plain malpractice and I hope the mother sues the ER doctors and the hospital.

Anonymous said...

Children in the U.S. are NOT our most valuable resource. If they come from the aforementioned communities they are destined for the Ivy League and investment banks, wall street, blue blood businesses such as insurance, the fortune 1000 and the large law firms. the rest of america's children are expendable and are to be toyed with for our pleasure- we do not care if they die in Iraq or in drive by shootings or from crack cocaine-which our cia admitted to flooding the streets of LA with. If this country gave a shit about children- there would be gun control- after school programs and so many other things. Miami builds an opera house that will cost a billion and already has financial problems and Orlando is getting ready to build the same. obviously most americans fear loss of their job or their government because between Iraq, gun violence, the homeless, children in poverty, etc, we are not even in the top 50 nations for the way we treat our citizens and run our society. all we are is a military bully with superior technology in military industries such as planes and weapons-that's all we are- we would rather train our youth to kill iraqis than cure disease and poverty. and if you don't believe me- we average 15000 handgun deaths a year in this country- some other democracies have less than 50. we train our children thru violent movies and tv to be violent which is abuse. i will stop now before i get arrested for insurrection.

Rumpole said...

8:24 I am assuming you are being factitious to make a point. Children are our most precious resource. And like our natural resources, we have mismanaged them with the violence we subject them to.

Anonymous said...

If we lowered the age for military service from 18 to 12, we would have enough poor uneducated people to win the war and as service men they would get teeth fixed at a fine VA hospital. The MJB link, There is no public mental health system. So brush regularly and don't go crazy unless you can afford treatment. God bless America!!

Anonymous said...

VOTE FOR CATHERINE “CATHY” PARKS FOR JUDGE!!!

Remember that early voting. Please remind your family, friends, and peers to get out and vote!! Election Day is September 2th, but vote early to avoid the crowds and, possibly, long waits.

Cathy is the only candidate in her race who has been named a “Top Attorney in South Florida” by The South Florida Legal Guide. She has been endorsed by numerous organizations, including the Women’s Political Caucus of Miami-Dade County, The Florida Nurses Association, the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Concerned Citizens of North East Dade County, and many individual commissioners and local mayors. As you may know, she has been an attorney for over 20 years, and when elected, she will be the FIRST Nurse-Attorney on the bench. HELP US MAKE HISTORY by electing Cathy Parks as our next circuit court judge.

This is a county-wide election, so if you live anywhere in Miami-Dade County, you are eligible to vote.

Oh Yeah!

Anonymous said...

Damn, Rumpole sounds like one of the "mommy judges" people are always bitching about. Enough already!

Anonymous said...

In whose seat did Cathy Parks file?

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, factictious is a great word. However, it is most commonly defined as: "Artificial; not authentic or genuine; sham." You may have stretched its usage; then again, you may have used it properly--I am not quite so sure. I do commend you on your efforts to educate the great unwashed, or at least force the expansion of vocabulary. ps thanks for the tirade.... I concur it is high time to get out of the quagmire (difficult, precarious, or entrapping position : PREDICAMENT) in Iraq and bring our brave women and men home!

Anonymous said...

Solid, baby. Eloquently put. GWB is the worst of all time.

Anonymous said...

On a separate note, have you seen this morning's Daily Business Review? The front page has an article on the outster of Judge Klein.

Anonymous said...

Oh Yeah. Let's vote for Catherine Parks. The Queen of Malpractice. With three firms. Let go by all three firms. All three firms have faced malpractice actions. Oh Yeah let's elect another former nurse incompetent to the Circuit Court Bench.

Anonymous said...

if we dont get back to trashing judges, bottom-feeders and sleazeball asa and cops ima burst.

lets get it on track, people!

Anonymous said...

Rump, bravo, well said. I will not use the term mistake, the carnegie institute calls the intelligence that got us into Iraq "misrepresented". I call it lies. Anon 3:08 and 4:03. I'm glad you're amused. You can continue to yank the wings off flies now.

Anonymous said...

Mandela stole that line from someone else: the correct quote is that a society's decency is measured by how it treats its dead.

Anonymous said...

Today's Daily Business Review says Judge Klein "stepped down in late May after the Miami-Dade state attorney's office complained about his conduct."
www.DailyBusinessReview.com

Anonymous said...

I applaud Rumpole for touching on a topic that I believe should be in every Americans conscious. Health care and the war for oil.

The problem is that every time race is mentioned, a slime bucket emerges from under his rock showing his true colors, but is so cowardly that he hides behind a pseudonym like "fake RUSH LIMBAUGH". ( see 6/13/07 4:43 pm). Those comments were abhorrent, yet were allowed to be posted. Why Rumpole? As an African American attorney who regularly reads your blog, I have to wonder who this bigot is and is he alone? When you post this trash, do you condone it?

To the coward, who probably smiles in the face of every African American he encounters at the courthouse , pretending to tolerant ,why does the mother have to be a nappy headed ho? Why did the coward believe that it was appropriate to resort to calling her a crack head? Why do you assume that she had the child out of wedlock? I saw this story on the news months ago and I saw none of that. Does every African American in your opinion warrant such harsh words?

The issue plain and simple is that thousands of young men and women are needlessly dying... some from the war and some from poor health care. No mother should have to chose between food and health care and for some reason, dental care does not count in most insurance packages as health care. It is a supplement, like vision care . Every child in America should have the right to proper and adequate health, dental and vision care.

SWLiP said...

I've enjoyed this blog immensely, but this post is pure hackery. It's hardly worthy of the eloquent prose that so frequently graces these pages. I'm sure that I don't need to point out the glaring logical fallacies underpinning the argument being presented.

Did Rumpole really write this crap? Hello?

Anonymous said...

To 12:15: you are simpleminded. The post was intended as a spoof of the type of mindset people like Rush Limbaugh and Don Imus articulate over the airways. Did you read it all the ones that followed. They were a sarcastic condemnation of the aristocracy in this country and how they talk about the tragedy behind closed doors. It was in no way intended to be a truthful articulation of the author's mindset, which by the way has been nominated for awards for his civil rights work.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who supports the war at this stage is simply writing or speaking to amuse themselves, because they realize that the effort is futile. Bush blasted Clinton for "nation building" and so did Limbaugh. What do they have to say about that, in light of what's going on in Iraq? The type of person who writes in as a pseudo Limbaugh isn't a conservative or even a simple antagonist - he/she is just a person who has an easy way with racist language, but someone who doesn't really like to think about the issues that need to be dealt with. What a sorry condition our country is in that there are still about 30% of the people supporting this president. And please, don't tell me its any American's obligation to support the office of the presidency. When we ask the president to stop defiling our country, we are respecting the presidency. By the way, if someone were to burn an American Flag on the streetcorner, it wouldn't much matter. The flag doesn't represent the beautiful things that it used to anymore anyway. We are a nation that tortures. We are a nation that villifies communists and dictatorships yet supports eavesdropping and spying on our own citizenry. We spend billions to kill in a war that has none of the necessary components that were present for World War II, not even after 9/11. As Rump noted, we could have solved so many problems in this country with the money spent in Iraq, but our fear drove us to sign off on an unimaginably costly war, with negative returns. Maybe burning the flag is the only way to save the principals it once stood for. If you are a defender of george bush and the war in iraq, you neither support are troops nor love your country - if you insist on your love of country while continuing your support for Bush and the war then your ignorance and obstinance alone are killing the country you say you love. What's so wrong with bringing our troops home, and spending 100 million a day on education and healthcare instead? Do you really think we're less likely to be attacked by a terrorist nutjob in the future either way?

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Rumpole. I will be pointing people to your blog for this post. Personally, I think it is past time to "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's due"--and impeach Bush and Cheney. In their case, it is past due, should have been done long ago.

Todd and in Charge said...

Rumpole, I'm with you. GWB has been an unmitigated disaster, far worse than I could have ever possibly imagined. To think otherwise you really have to be among the 29 percent "dead enders."

Heck, even Ann Coulter has turned on the guy, making wisecracks about his drinking.

Anonymous said...

All that being said, W's approval #s are higher than our democrat congress' #s

david lindsey said...

i would be considered a conservitive but not a strict republican. it does seem to be a bad war. we probably could have handled things more effective in other ways. u are so right on the plite of our children. can u imagine if the gov took a million dolars and put it in to an account for every poor family and let them draw off the intrest. that would be a lot cheaper than the war. we could be spending money on information and securing the borders. just sounds smarter way to go to me.

Anonymous said...

This is Catherine Parks. Why you, whoever you are, choose to malign me, is totally beyond my comprehension. I have never had any malice toward anyone. And contrary to your assertion, I have NOT been sued in 3 malpractice cases, as you allege, nor have any of the firms with whom I have been associated. Should you really want to know the truth, I have taken a brief sabbatical from the practice of law (primarily because I have the financial means to do so). I may or may not run for a judgeship again. If I do, and the papers are in my hands as we speek, I intend to win.