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

Friday, September 14, 2007

WRONG WRONG WRONG

What’s wrong with these headlines and stories that are in the NY Times today?

BUSH SAYS US CAN'T ABANDON IRAQ

OIL CLOSES ABOVE 80 A BARREL FOR THE FIRST TIME


BOMB KILLS SUNNI SHEIK WORKING WITH US



What’s wrong is that nothing is right. This was the wrong war, in the wrong place, at arguably the wrong time.


Wrong War: We invaded Iraq for its failure to turn over WMD’s it didn’t have. Wrong war.

Wrong Place: Iran is building a nuclear weapon. So is North Korea. What can the US do about it? With its army depleted because of this war we are bogged down in, absolutely nothing. Wrong place.

Wrong Time: There were ways with dealing with Al Qaeda without driving every other nation in the middle east into the arms of Al Qaeda. We squandered that chance as Bush and his cabinet virtually welcomed the 9/11 attacks as a way of giving them the excuse they needed to finish off Saddam Hussein.

Wrong War. Wrong Place. Wrong Time. And we are paying for it. Now our President wants to deplete our national treasury, to say nothing of our national resources- the most valuable of which are the young people who are dying in Iraq, for an indeterminate period of time beyond when he leaves office.

Our standing in the world community has never been lower.

Our armed forces have never been more depleted and stretched beyond capacity in the last 30 years.

And after invading one of the most prolific producers of oil, the price of oil has never been higher.

We are going to spend a trillion dollars on this fiasco.

We could have spent half of that on poverty in this country, and the other half rebuilding infrastructure, exploring sources of alternative energy, reversing global warming, fighting AIDs, and paying down the debt.


And what do we have for our money?
A complete mess.

Bush is the worst president in my lifetime.
Bush is the worst president in the last 100 years.
Bush may be the worst president we have ever had.

See You In Court. Football tomorrow and Sunday.



UPDATE: The individual suspected of shooting four Miami Dade Officers, and killing one, was killed yesterday evening in a shootout with the police. More guns. More death. A sad day in our gun laden city. If someone will email us details about the slain officer's funeral, and any support fund for his family (and we believe he was married with small children) will will post it.

31 comments:

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

A very sad day ended late last night when officers killed the man suspected of killing one Miami-Dade cop and wounding three others in a shootout Thursday morning. Shawn Sherwin LaBeet was cornered and shot dead in a Pembroke Pines condo complex sometime before midnight at the Heron Pond Condos, 305 SW 85th Ave.

Officer Jose Somohano was 37 years old and he leaves behind a wife and two children. Somohano was a former schools police officer who was hired by the Miami-Dade Police Dept. in 2003.

The PBA LOVE FUND is a fund that has been set up to help the families of slain officers.

The Love Fund depends on PBA special events and outside contributions for its success. It is a federally recognized charitable organization
[501(c)(3)] and contributions to it are fully tax deductible.

Please make your check or money order payable to the "Dade County PBA Love Fund" and mail to:

Dade County PBA
10680 PBA Memorial Blvd.
(NW 25th St.)
Miami, FL 33172

CAPTAIN OUT ...........

South Florida Lawyers said...

Terrible.

Does anyone know the circumstances of how the suspect was killed? The Herald had no details.

Anonymous Liberal said...

Who said anything about benchmarks?
By: Steve Benen on Thursday, September 13th, 2007 at 3:32 PM

Sometimes, these guys make it too easy. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, yesterday, in his final appearance:

“No, benchmarks were something that Congress wanted to use as a metric. And we’re going to produce a report. But the fact is that the situation is bigger and more complex, and you need to look at the whole picture.”

Reality, as reported last week:

It was the White House and the Iraqi government, not Congress, that first proposed the benchmarks for Iraq that are now producing failing grades, a provenance that raises questions about why the administration is declaring now that the government’s performance is not the best measure of change.

The administration presented a to-do list and said, “Judge us in September on these points.” They’ve successfully completed three of the 18 tasks. In response, the new line is, “To-do lists are stupid.”

Anonymous said...

WRONG place? You think we oughta invade N Korea or Iran? You are a fucking nutjob, bro. Seriously get real.

Rumpole said...

Thanks 10:30= so eloquently put. You really added to the discussion with that piece of wisdom.

BTW: I am home sick (achoo). So if you want to comment, it should go up right away, as there is nothing on TV to distract me.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, I love to read your blog. Just read your comments on guns. I agree with you on just about everything. But your position on guns, my friend, is hypocritical. I am a criminal defense lawyer in Miami, like you. I spend my life defending the Bill of Rights, like you. But unlike you, I defend all it of it, not just those amendments that suit me. I think it is hypocritical when conservatives champion the Second Amendment but trivialize, for example, the Fourth Amendment (you know that “technicality”), just as I think it is hypocritical for people like you to claim to champion the Bill of Rights while doing mental and legal gymnastics to trivialize the Second Amendment. (I’m a little peeved at you, in case you couldn’t tell).

Also, violence is violence, whether you want to call it “gun violence” or any other kind of violence. If you want to get a better grip on the why of it all, guns isn’t the place to look. Look at the justice system that you talk about on your blog everyday. On any given day in juvenile court there are countless kids that simply have no hope because we (and I mean society) have abandoned them. Instead of going out of our way to help them, we go out of our way to further disillusion them by ignoring their needs, failing to educate them, and leaving them to be raised by parents (if they have one) who aren’t equipped to deal with them. Then, when these kids mature into hardened criminals, we as a society prefer to spend the money we should have spent on their education and other needs on caging them like animals. You, Rumpole, should know this dynamic as well as anyone. Shame on you. The epidemic, my friend, is not guns. It is a society whose priorities are bass-ackwards.

What we both agree on, is that officer who died yesterday is a hero. My deepest sympathies go out to his family.

rick freedman said...

captain, thanks for the information on the Love Fund. God bless the officer and my thoughts are with his wife and children. All he did was try to protect us.

If the gun he used was an AK-47, my question is, what the heck is he or anyone doing with that type of weapon. We can have the 2nd amendment debates all day long about the right to bear arms, but no one can support the argument that an AK-47 should be available to the public.

Rick Freedman

Rumpole said...

Thank you 12:17 for a well reasoned critique. I am a strict constructionist, and believe the second amendment protects nothing more than a citizen's right to wear short sleeve shirts. (Right to bare arms...get it??hahhah).

Actually, your argument is philosophically correct, ignoring for the moment the late Supreme Court Justice Holmes citation to Emerson: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

I agree that the second amendment is the law of the land. However, how many deaths will it take until we address this epidemic? Kids kill themselves with their parents guns every year. We have three south florida law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty with guns within the last few months. Unlike Cancer or AIDS, we know the disease, we know the cure. Remove the guns and the gun violence stops. Civilized Countries have done just that and the results are uniform. There are not armed gangs running around England or Japan terrorizing unarmed civilians.

So, because I agree that one cannot pick and choose to enforce only those aspects of the Bill of Rights they like, I guess the first platform for the Rumpole For President campaign would be repeal of the 2nd Amendment.

Anonymous said...

SOMEBODY CALL THE Q!!!!!


LAS VEGAS - Investigators questioned O.J. Simpson and named him a suspect Friday a break-in at a casino hotel room involving sports memorabilia.

The break-in was reported at the Palace Station casino late Thursday night, police spokesman Jose Montoya said. He said investigators determined the break-in involved sports collectibles.

``When they talked to him, Simpson made the comment that he believed the memorabilia was his,'' Montoya said. ``We're getting conflicting stories from the two sides.''

Anonymous said...

I see no inconsistency between being a defense attorney and not liking wide access to guns. If I remember correctly a miami criminal defense lawyer had to recently shoot himself out of a "client meeting". Of course someone out there will argue that had the lawyer not had a gun, he wouldn't be alive today. But, it would be hard to argue that some nutjob like the "client" in this scenerio would have had access to the gun if they were not legally sold sans background checks at gun shows and through the classified adds. It's the ubiquity of legal guns that make for the abundance of illegal guns.

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

What's wrong with this picture?

Cutting his $21 million budget by just 4 percent would be
"catastrophic" to his record of aggressive prosecution of criminals, said State Attorney Harry Shorstein; (the prosecutor for the 4th Judicial Circuit, which covers Duval, Clay and Nassau counties).

"For 16 years this State Attorney's Office has led the state in aggressive prosecution of criminals," Shorstein said.

Comparing the six largest of Florida's 20 judicial circuits, Shorstein said his circuit has more inmates on Death Row, the largest rate of criminals sentenced as habitual offenders, the highest rate of incarceration in state prisons and the highest rate of people sentenced to county jail time.

OK, HERE IT COMES >>>>>

For Shorstein's office, he said the possible budget cut could not come at a worse time as the homicide rate in Jacksonville is surpassing last year's high rate.

OK, FOLKS, in the words of Rumpole, have at it......

CAPTAIN OUT ..........

Anonymous said...

"...how many deaths will it take until we address [reversing Roe v Wade once and for all]?"

CK

Anonymous said...

"REMOVE" the guns? How, Rumpole, how? Honestly address that. You'd have to destroy the 4th am.

Will you stop with Japan references? Totally diferent culture-for better and worse. Completely homogenous in almost all ways--conformist nation. It is absurd to compare Japan with the US.

The UK has very dangerous armed gangs and a very low-level civil war between ethnic minorities--Asain Muslims and Caribbean/British blacks in many inner city areas. Learn what the Uk is dealing with at this point before saying you'd like us to go in that direction. Extremely short-sighted.

BTW, Rick, the gun the murderer used was an ILLEGAL gun. He did not care about any gun law b/c he was a CRIMINAL.

Anonymous said...

Even if Roe v. Wade were reversed, the issues would simply return to the states, the vast, vast majority of whom will ratify the status quo.

Regardless, as a strict constructionist, I'm sure Rump would like to see it oveturned.

Anonymous said...

Roe v. Wade???

THAT's why we need AK's...to keep the religious right and the plain old secular fascists that are ruining our country from taking away the OTHER 90% of the Bill of Rights and everything else the Constitution stands for.

batman said...

Ron White the comedian brags that in his state (Texas) "while other states are trying to do away with the death penalty ours is building an express lane". Mr. Shorstein brags of the rates of incarceration and death house inmates coming out of his circuit and at the same time becomes the poster child for "it is not a deterent."

Former Chief Justice Kogan (Fl. Supr. Ct. Ret.) spent the last two years on the bench saying that "death just does not work." It does not deter and it takes enormous resources to enforce ($). Kogan stated that 90% of the Supreme Ct. Of Florida Justice's time is spent on death cases.

To most, general population life would be worse than death, if not hasten the death of some of those convicted. It is actually cheaper to keep someone in prison for 25 years than to go through the process of reaching execution.

The morality of the death penalty is another issue. To its supporters it is a feel good issue. But from a strictly practical point of view, it serves no useful purpose. Money better spent somewhere else.

Kogan was right then, he is right now.

CAPTAIN said...

well said, Batman ....

CAPTAIN OUT .....

Anonymous said...

Can we get past the argument over guns and move on to eugenics?

Anonymous said...

Re: 4:00pm

You are way wrong. Why do you think there is such a fear of reversal? And, don't you think the voters should decide instead of 5 judges on the Supreme Court--especially since the constitution is silent as to abortion?

CK

Anonymous said...

Simpson named suspect in armed robbery .

It's stolen stuff that's mine. Nobody was roughed up," Simpson told the AP.

Las Vegas Metro Police Capt. James Dillon said the confrontation was reported as an armed robbery involving guns. But he said no weapons had been recovered and stressed that the investigation was in its "infancy."

All together now:

SOMEBODY CALL THE Q!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anybody else not get an invite to Shumie's HALO 3 debut party (with foam) at Club Prive next week?

rump kisser said...

rump if you are interested in music for the blog, check this out... http://tips-for-new-bloggers.blogspot.com/2007/02/add-music-to-blogspot-blog.html

loyal reader of yours...

Sam I Am said...

For the average person, (i.e., the overwhelming majority of people who work in non-violent jobs and live in non-violent locations), the probability of being a victim of gun-related violence in the U.S.A. is very, very small. For example, the risk of being murdered is about 1 in 18,000. While basic caution is also advisable, the risk is so small that it isn't worth the concern given it. Hence intensive gun control lobbying is a waste of time. Given that that the chance of death from flu in a given year is 1:3000, death from cancer is 1:514 and death from heart disease is 1:384... gun opponents would better spend their energy healthy eating and exercise, for example.

Conversely, for the average person, the proability of successfuly engaging in a defense gun use is so low that they might as well spend their money playing lotto. This is even clearer if one considers the risks of owning a gun. Which is to say, even if guns are completely legal, it makes no sense, for the average person, to own a gun for purposes of self-defense.


So... it makes no sense to fear gun violence and it makes no sense to own a gun for defensive purposes.

To put it differently, the debate over guns is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets its hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a controversy argued by idiots, full of sound and fury... signifying nothing.

Rumpole said...

Sam, I hate to sound callous, but you try telling Officer Somohano's widown and children he just bucked 18,000 to 1 odds when he was gunned down.

Anonymous said...

My prays are with family of the dead officer and with the injured officers. However, I saw on the news that the police were using a military a "black hawk" helicopter, to hunt down the cop killer. Isn't there some constitutional thing about using the military domestically?

Fake Pat Nally said...

Shumi's Halo 3 Introduction party is not, repeat NOT, a foam party. Shumie's foam parties are always on Thursday nights. Everyone knows that.

Anonymous said...

Officer Somohano was a great officer and fine human being. His death is a terrible loss, not just to his family, but our entire community.

His death should serve as a reminder to us all of the incredible risk the thousands of officers in our county take when they put on their uniforms to protect us.

fake john locke said...

The historical antecedents to the position that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms are strong and undeniable. One of the driving forces behind the Glorious Revolution of 1688 in Great Britain were the non-conformist Protestants who had been banned from owning firearms by a fearful succession of Stuart monarchs. The right of Protestants to bear arms was enshrined in 1689 Declaration of Rights, passed by Parliment after James II had been expelled from Britain and William of Orange delared King. The men who wrote the Declaration of Rights were the predecessors of the men who wrote the U.S. Constitution.

I grew up in mainly rural areas of the U.S. where guns were plentiful and gun ownership almost universal (I have never owned a gun myself, however). Nobody in these areas walked around with assault rifles shooting police officers. I think the real problem we have in Miami has more to do with attitude than with gun ownership.

Rumpole said...

We also had hangings, we burnt witches at the stake, and doctors used "bleeding" as a technique to treat illness. Either we evolve as a society, or we just shoot each other until no one is left.

FB (fake blecher) said...

hey RFB- we gonna let fake Pat Nally rank on shumie? That's our territory.

Sam I Am said...

Rumpole:

Policy based upon the improbable but sensational leads the masses to endorse Gitmo, through out civil rights and avoid the mundane but real world around them.

I wouldn't be so callous as address the societal meaningless of Officer Somohano's death with his widow. It's cheap of you to imply as much.

I'm saddened you've made such a big deal about an event that has no meaning in the conduct of society or the state of our laws.

In a county of 2 million a man died. Outside of his family and fellow officers, who I would expect to grieve, it's essentially irrelevant and should be.

Come Monday people will care more about the Dolphins' game.