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, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Monday, November 03, 2008

AN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

It was pre-dawn and the line for our polling place snaked around the block. Armed with a Starbucks Cafe Americano (one pump vanilla) the NY Times, and a novel, we joined the crowd. 

An elderly couple in their 80's ambled up. The man pulled out a small folding chair and sat down. "Bad feet" he said. His wife smiled.  I sipped my coffee and pondered the line in the cold morning darkness. It was too dark to read.  "Haven't missed a presidential election since I was 18" I said. The woman smiled. Soon we were fast friends. 

They were both retired school teachers. He was a PE instructor, she taught most subjects to the early grades. They worked for over 40 years each and then retired. Another school teacher a few people up leaned back. She was thinking of the Drop program for retirement but she wasn't sure. Her husband turned around and started talking to the man. They had friends in common. They knew the current PE instructor at Pinecrest. 

The sun rose. Sample ballots were handed out. The woman had a question about an amendment. I squinted it at it. After removing all the double and triple negatives, we agreed that the increased value of a home as a result of adding solar panels or wind energy should not be taxed.  

The time flew by. 15 or 20 Americans standing in line to vote, sharing stories, laughing, and all studiously avoiding any venture into who should win the presidential election. We were there to vote, not campaign. We respected each other's choices, and admired the success of the elderly couple who had managed to do it right. Meet; marry; raise a family; work; invest; retire; enjoy the ride along the way. 

It ended  too soon. The polls opened. The line moved fast. Phone numbers were exchanged before we got our ballots. And then we voted and returned to our lives, having shared this wonderful American experience together one  morning last week.  


For another type of uniquely American experience, read this NY Times article on the fight to save the life of an Afghan wounded by the Taliban.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I VOTED THE FIRST DAY. I WAITED 2.5 HOURS. IT WAS WORTH IT. I ENDED UP MAKING A FEW NEW FRIENDS IN LINE. GO VOTE. BE A GREAT AMERICAN.

GO OBAMA!

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, I am a new lawyer and admire you for this blog. I would like your advice on who to vote for tomorrow. I have a concern I have not seen voiced by many. If Obama is elected will he be too black. Has he covered up his blackness and been a typical politician just to say the things to get elected.? Will he put a clown like Al Sharpton in a policy position and count on him for advice? Will he put rims on the presidential motorcade, have hurricanes named mookie, laquisha, tyrone and oprah? Will he change the color of the white house and change the national anthem to Ebony and Ivory (he is half black and half white).? Why is he referred to as the first black candidate instead of the first half and half candidate? These are some of my concerns- what do you think?

Rumpole said...

After careful consideration, I think you are a moron and should vote for McCain. Really.

Anonymous said...

I admire McCain because he is "Too Legit to quit". I admire Obama because "He likes big butts and he cannot lie". Rumpole , what do I do? Your 906 response is evidence of why you do this blog and worship certain lawyers. You are not as smart as you think you are because you could not figure out that the post was a joke, a sarcastic reference to the conservative white republican mindset of the types of things they would fear if a half black man who appears all black physically were to win the white house. therefore, lacking the intellectual sophistication to figure this all out, my dear rumpole, means your stock just plummetted like wall street on the intellectual meter so stick to running a blog as opposed to representing people with real problems.

Anonymous said...

Please do vote for McCain. He needs every vote to count so he can be our next president. A job which Obama is clearly not qualified to do.

the pundit said...

I remember, on past election days:

1. Judge David Young admonishing all in his courtroom, including attorneys, to vote.

2. Judge Jeffrey Rosinek cutting a day short to allow everyone to vote, and reminding everyone that people died for this right.

While many of us are sick of the political news, the fliers, the robocalls--remember that we are lucky to have the right to vote. Nelson Mandela's desccription of the first time he voted in a fully democratic election in South Africa, in 1994, still gives me chills. Many brave men and women in our Armed Forces have died so we can cast our ballots tomorrow. And who could forget the Freedom Riders and the many others who made sure that disenfranchised blacks finally got to cast their ballot. And it goes without saying that millions in other countries have died seeking the right to vote. Many other nations do not have elections of any kind, or if they do, they are rigged or a joke.

The right to vote is an important right and is not to be taken lightly. Whomever you choose to support tomorrow, make sure that you vote and make your voice heard. And when you cast your ballot, remember those who fought and continue to fight, both here and abroad, for the right so many of us take for granted.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Miami! First murder free month since 1966. Way to go!

the pundit said...

9:00 A.M.--if that was an attempt at humor, don't quit your day job. If it is your actual belief, then Rumpole calling you a moron is an understatement. You're actually an asshole.

Anonymous said...

#@*!!! Anonymous anger rampant on Internet

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/11/03/angry.internet/index.html

Apparently, this Blog is not the only vehicle prone to the rants of anonymity.

Of course, not like I put my name behind this but oh well.

Anonymous said...

I have known Jeff Feiler since he was a little kid. I think that JEFF FEILER is one of the top lawyers in Miami. He always wins his trials and is so humble. Congrats Jeff on a great result.

South Florida Lawyers said...

Rump, I apologize -- somehow newbie escaped from my blog and wound up here.

We'll try to make sure that doesn't happen again.

eyeonweisman said...

BREAKING BLOG NEWS: ON the Liner Notes for Britney Spears number one single WOMANIZER WOMANIZER she thanks "Kenny W my Miami Boy for showing me the way. You're the real womanizer. No hard feelings.Brit"

Way to go Kenny!!!!

Anonymous said...

Judge Ivan Fernandez has posted his intent to run for Chief Judge of the 11th Circuit. A good judge with vast administrative experience. He is an excellant choice as successor to Judge Farina.

Anonymous said...

Judge Fernandez would be great as Chief, but would we lose him as a trial judge? We would be losing a terrific trial judge.

Obama's grandmother dies just before Election Day said...

Obama's grandmother dies just before Election Day

Anonymous said...

Rump's theme song...
"And Im proud to be an American, where at least I know Im free..."
as you get into your 4x4 truck.
You are such a bad ass...double pump of vanilla today please.

Hugs and kisses

Rumpole said...

I did not post a comment that requested that "pundit" engage in sexual relations with him/her self.
Onanism as it were.

coffee tea or shumie? said...

Rumpolium- my local starbucks (at Ponce in Coral Gables) has a "shumie time" drink.

Order a shumie time= A Vanilla Bean Frappucino with a shot of espresso poured on top. Yum.

the pundit said...

Rumpole, feel free to post anything that is said about me. As we used to say in grade school, sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. And as Harry S. Truman was fond of saying, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

That being said, 9:00 A.M.'s comment was still retarded.

Anonymous said...

It is believed Judge Joel Brown may also be seeking the position of Chief Judge.No doubt Judge Ivan Fernandez is qualified but Judge Brown has served as a member of the judiciary both in county court and circuit court.Further he has served as the administrative judge in the county court traffic division and crimes division and has been the administrative judge of the family division for at least five years.So here we have two qualified candidates,one having administrative experience in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit(not making any diparaging comments of the other).

Anonymous said...

Ivan Fernandez rocks.