Thursday, September 01, 2011


The scene: a cafe in Berlin sometime in the spring of 1973.

A (much) younger Rumpole sipping coffee and tuning in the BBC which re-broadcast a CBC broadcast by Canadian Journalist Gordon Sinclair that can be viewed below.

It was a different time, but not a simpler one. True, there was not a 24 hour news cycle and the ability to remain in constant contact with the world via cellular phones, computers and Twitter wasn't even a twinkle in the eye of Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. But the Vietnam war was coming to a disastrous conclusion. And President Nixon, who had enthusiastically prosecuted the war since taking office in 1968, lied about bombing Cambodia abroad, and lied about breaking into the Watergate office complex at home. It was a difficult time to be an American abroad. There was a lot to be troubled about. There was a recession at home, plus inflation, high unemployment, unrest in the cities, and we were barely five years removed from the murders of Martin and Bobby.

And yet, troubled though we were, we wouldn't ever back down in support of our country. Maybe America didn't belong in Vietnam, but it was American men dying for a just cause (in theory at least- the destruction of fascist communism. Just ask those who lived through the horrors of the killing fields of Cambodia how peaceful Communism was back then.) Nobody thought for one moment that if America was successful in the Vietnam war that we would remain and occupy Vietnam and conscript its peoples. It was taken for granted that Americans win wars and then go home. We did it twice in Europe in the span of twenty five years at the beginning of the last century and it was understood we would do it again in Asia or wherever we were needed.

We've been thinking a lot about 1973 and 2011 lately.

A few weeks ago our country's credit rating was downgraded. America aired our dirty laundry about our debt problems in public. We don't hide our problems, we fix them.

This past decade saw American men and woman dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, and despite our successes we have not taken one red cent from their treasuries to repay the trillion dollars we have spent. A trillion dollars rebuilds an awful lot of schools, roads, hospitals and parks. It buys a lot of health care and pays for a lot of jobs for the unemployed.

Our economy is weak, we may be facing a double dip recession, the housing market crashed and has not yet recovered, and twenty five million Americans are unemployed or underemployed.

In many ways, at home and abroad, things are as bleak as 1973.

And so, we present to you one special Canadian: Mr. Gordon Sinclair, and his original broadcast in 1973 that had one American, his hair a big longer, his backpack a bit rattier, walking a bit taller in the streets of Europe that summer.

Where have you gone Mr. Sinclair? We need your words now more than ever.

Enjoy your holiday weekend. Courts are closed Monday. See You In Court Tuesday.


Anonymous said...

God bless you Rumpole, whoever you are. And God Bless America too!

Anonymous said...

Pat Conroy, author: America is worth dying for, even when she is wrong.

Anonymous said...


You are ageless: you are like G-d to us, you always were, and always will be.

God bless America.

Anonymous said...

Fat stupid Americans deserve what they get. How many did you kill invading Iraq?

Anonymous said...

RUMPOLE - have you considered replacing Neil Rogers or Howard Stern on the radio .... You are awesome.

Maybe add some Tootsie's strippers and a Sybian though as the "best dui lawyer contest" , "where in the world is the Q" and "Shumie's favorite cigars" may bore the Hallandale condo commandos?

Also, probably would need Judge Stan Blake to do the after show - any Romanian criminal defense lawyer as your "Bababooy - dis is bullsh*t" sidekick and Simon Steckel as your "limo driver"?

You can broadcast live from the Women's Detention Center!

Probably could get any one of the now 127 former judges to finance the show? ***Amy Steel Donner (aka Amy Lynne Jamison) on the Sybian anyone????

Just a thought.....

Anonymous said...

On this Labor Day weekend let us remember that Unionized Working Men and Women made this country the Industrial Giant it is.

Anonymous said...

this is a bunch of feel good bullshit. this country is headed off a cliff. bush wrecked our economy through two wars, tax cuts and spending like mad coupled with toxic brew of deregulation.

now the drooling idiots who make our electorate expected that obama could fix all this shit in two years and now we are poised to a return of all the nonsense that got us here in the first place mixed in with a little bigotry, religious intolerance and fundamentalism.

this nation is headed for a long slow decline and morons who worship ayn rand and her stupid novels are a large part of the problem.


When Labor day arrives my mind oft returns as well to a not so simpler time in Miami, and the great Christies Mele as it was known.

Shumie's cigar (before he had a store) a thrown spoon full of mashes potatoes in response to some slur- heard or imagined, and dozens of Dade County's finest citizens in the most vicious food fight you could imagine. The dry cleaning bills reached into the high five figures, and the damage to the interior of the grand old restaurant while significant, was nothing compared to the damage to its reputation.

As the lawsuits flew and some of the best lawyers in Dade county took on clients for free ust so they could say they were involved in the Christie's case. The great late Judge Harold Solomon was assigned the unenviable task of consolidating the cases and riding herd over the lawyers, clients (many who were lawyers) and the eventual settlement.

Judge Solomon called the facts so disturbing that in circa 1990 he sealed the case for twenty years. Requests since January 2010 at the clerk's office for the files have been met with stoney silence. Some say the files were lost, other say water damage in Hurricane Andrew ruined most of them, while the most conspiratorial among us believe something more nefarious- that many of the current movers, shakers, and power brokers have too much to lose if their reprehensible behavior that night is revealed.

Will we ever know the truth?

Anonymous said...

My memories of the great Christies Melee are more about the aftermath and the strange lingo singular to the case arose.

There was of course the infamous "Lady in the the leopard print dress" and for days the media speculated about who she was until a very middle aged Coral Gables realtor emerged as the most likely candidate as the woman who threw the mashed potatoes. The embarrassing fact that she was eating a late dinner with a very younger man who was not her husband led her and a team of lawyers to tenaciously fight every subpoena.

There was "Bowler Man" the English gent who was seen in the corner calmly taking pictures of the incident with a Kodak Instamatic. The plaintiffs ability to introduce those pictures with the man but without his distinguishing hat led to several trips to the 3rd DCA on the issue of authenticating evidence.

There was the honeymoon couple- a young pair of newlyweds just off a cruise ship enjoying a night at a famous eatery before flying home to Aimes, Iowa. They have since divorced and the wife's infamous "apple pie affidavit" almost led to parts of the settlement being set aside.

Hector the busboy had 20 minutes of fame, as did one well endowed waitress, offhandedly referred to as "the server with the bodacious set" among the defense counsel, and finally Hal the Limo Guy, who had to fight to prove he was actually in the parking lot and saw the two women hitting each other with their high heels over the hood of the 911 Porsche (the most expensive cat fight ladies").

All in all, a memorable case.

Anonymous said...

Someone please write something interesting. Hopefully someone will do something really stupid this weekend, that will make the news.

And by the way, it wasn't the unionized workers who made this country great. The sad truth is that the country was built by railroad barons and manufacturing and industrialists who were ruthless enough to exploit the non union workers - mostly immigrants who were nearly slaves.

The unions have come along and ruined every industry they have gotten their greedy hands into.

Anonymous said...

DS....Yeah, it was the unionized workers who made this country the industrial giant it is today. Not the brilliant innovators or the businessmen who built the companies we worked for. LOL. The truth is that CAPITALISM made this country the economic powerhouse it (still) is.

Unions did A LOT of great things (some still do), but let's not lose sight of the fact that they didn't build our industrial system on their own or that they aren't perfect. Unions have lost significant power (and crippled several industries, temporarily or otherwise) during the past couple of decades because, in part, of the unreasonable demands some of them have made.



I was one of (the many many) civil lawyers consulted by people at Christy's that fateful night. Almost all of them, including the Lady in the Leopard Print Dress- which BTW was very very short and for an older woman she had amazing legs. The problem was that almost all of these people had no appreciable case to make money and NONE of them wanted to pay one red cent for what was shaping up to be a time sucking case.

I ended up helping one of the wait staff (not the woman with the bodacious set) and was privileged to see some very aggressive and fine lawyering in the process. All in all a good experience for me, but I'm glad I didn't jump at the first person who called because it would have wrecked me financially at the time when my firm was small and the overhead not so small.

Angry Gurl said...

I dislike long weekends when everybody is off. I prefer it when I take my long weekends and the rest of you jerks still have to go to work Monday. The good news is that most of the unwashed creeps that live in this town have gone away for the weekend so the gym has been fairly empty.

This is a non sequitor but anyone I meet that participates in on line dating has the word LOSER written all over them.

Same with men who play on line video games, update their Facebook and Twitter accounts, and basically use their computer for anything other than productive work.

Now I'm going to buy some very expensive size four jeans.

Anonymous said...

BTDT, et al
Yeah, and the Rockerfellers and Vanderbelts (like Anderson Cooper) are still living off the money they made 100 years ago while the workers decendants still struggle to pay thr bills. This morn I heard on one of the news shows, a serious suggestion that Corps pay NO income tax at all, at the same time that corps had a quarter w/the` largest and most sucessful profits ever.
Oh yeah the Business of America is Business. Not its citizens?
How about not sending work to China or India.

Lets go to a flat tax. 10 to 12.5% w/ NO DEDUCTIONS plus 2.5%,for 10 years, for paying off the Principle on the debt,.. NO DEDUCTIONS, PERIOD. FOR ALL Corps and People.
I would even say reluntently 15% to pay for WHAT THE USA GIVES ME AND MINE! 10 to 15% for the Army, Navy, Air Forse, Marines, Coast Gaurd, FAA Flight Controllers, TSA, ICE etc dont seem that outragious.
This is our country We have Rights and freedoms BUT WE OWE a responsibility,a duty to the USA just like the Country and Gov't has responsiblities to us.
D. Sisselman
Who can get thru the eye of the nedle...

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else think Angury Girl is a guy?

Anonymous said...

SIZE 4 ..?? Anything over size two is disgraceful.

You huge cow

Get back to work in the gym

Anonymous said...

Angry Gurl (Boy?) needs to get a life or take a course in comedy writing.

Anonymous said...

"Now I'm going to buy some very expensive size four jeans."--Angry Gurl

Now I know at least 2 reasons why you are angry, size 1 and size 2.

Go puke, lose some weight and write back when you are presentable.....

Blonde intern said...

I love you Rumpole. I dream about you. I want you. I neeeeeeeed you. Badly.
Great post. Sexy blogger. A well placed comma sends shivers down my sexy back.

Anonymous said...

Nice one, BTDT: Maybe we should have a holiday for capitalists to honor people who make profits on the labor of others. Oh, wait, we do: every fucking day, you moron!

Not to say capitalism is per se bad. It's nearly as good as socialism. That said, would you REALLY want an America where every worker is fully at the mercy of the benevolence of industrialists and CEO's? Welcome to 1890!!

Anonymous said...

BDTD is one of the many amongst us who has never had to work at a real job and doesn't really understand what real work is. Instead, he feels that it is his entitlement to charge $300 an hour to pontificate to his clients and force them to plead guilty without ever going to trial. In true spirit of a "brilliant innovator," he'll go running back to the SAO (or Mommy and Daddy) if things ever get tough for him.

Anonymous said...

5:26...........you're as clueless as my socialist friend DS (whom I actually like and respect very much). I'm not saying capitalism is perfect. As with everything else, I maintain that extreme positions are ridiculous.

This country was built on opportunity, innovation and, yes, capitalism. There's simply no denying that. Unions were a counterbalance to the abuses and excesses that resulted and had a critical impact (thankfullly). As I said, the unions did a lot of great things and some still do (did you miss that point in your apparently blinding rage?). Giving them full credit for turning this country into an industrial giant, however is ridiculous. And, anyone in their right mind would acknowledge that many unions, just like many business owners, have created astounding problems. The bottom line is that EVERY entity run by human beings is going to be imperfect and subject to abuse. Why can't we acknowledge that without devolving into name-calling?

We (people in this country) spend way too much time getting caught up in the rhetoric and making stupid proposals to settle the fringe members of our respective parties/ideologies and way too little time considering the facts and thinking of real solutions.

Why is it so difficult for you to acknowledge that things aren't always so black and white?


PS---DS, I think the proposal that corporations pay no income taxes is ridiculous. I'd point it, regardless, that half the population pays no taxes at all (which I find appalling).

Anonymous said...

The 007 of DUIs is rumored to be making a big move into the keys. "They haven't developed a breath test in the Conch Republic that I can't beat" he was overheard saying at the famed Green Turtle Inn over the weekend.

Anonymous said...

Capitalism? Is it a philosophy or just the application of rules that apply no matter what party you belong to. Gresham's law applies even if the republican's in congress say that bad money is not allowed to drive out good.

Unfortunately, america is dead. The military industrial complex took over, and the oligarchs started the drug war to lock in their profits. Morons call it a free country. We lock up more people than any nation anywhere; and another 20% we lock down in the concrete jungle.

Anonymous said...

To all you who say unions are bad:
Most, if not all of you, are the same ones who came to this country to escape communism. All the while telling stories of being mistreated, having their "fortunes" taking away (funny how all of your relatives were supposed millionaires), and then turning around and claiming you worship the capitalists. The unions are the organizations who make sure laborers are treated fairly, are paod fairly and have rights. The capitalists are 1 out of a million who couldn't give a shit about the everyman like you. Unions and blue collar people are honest and hard working. Not looking for a get rich quick scam like most of our generation.

Like shooting fish in a barrel said...

"Unions and blue collar people are hardworking and honest."

Who wants to take the first poke at that statement?

Anonymous said...

LOL. You really think I'd be spending my time posting on this blog if anyone was crazy enough to pay me $300 an hour for my opinion?



Anonymous said...

This is the worst thread - EVER.