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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

DIARY OF A MAD PRESIDENT STATE OF THE TRUMP EDITION

Dear Diary... big speech tonight. Thought it was a state of the union address and then was informed that it is too soon for me to give one. So Speaker Ryan, that little twerp, just invited me to address congress. It is a congressional address, not a state of the union address. I'm very upset about this. 

....

Dear Diary, just blew off some steam. Fired some white house maids I caught speaking spanish. No more espanol en la casa blanca I say. 
I was thinking about the state of the union. I hate unions. They're job killers. I am a job creator. So I'm going to give a state of the Trump speech. The speech should be about me, That's what people care about. How many people were at my inauguration. How many electoral votes I won (ALL OF EM!). How high are my poll numbers- through the roof. It is the best month in any presidency ever. 

A few final thoughts. I smell a rat behind this state of the union business. A big-eared, born in Kenya, non-american, muslim Barak Hussein Obama rat. And I'm gonna get even with him. Obama care will become Trump-Insurance. I going to erase his name from the history channel. 
Tried to fire the limo driver. Caught him making Taco-Bell runs for the secret service guys. Mucho Bigo-problemo with these hombres. 

Enemies list. Obama. Kenya. Ryan. Wisconsin. Mexican maids. Those supreme court justices not coming to my speech. CNN. The Golf channel. The archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. NATO. Holland. Taco Bell. 
The Yellow Pages. Candle-Pin bowling. That roller coaster at Coney Island. The Bee-Gees. ABBA. Little Anthony and the Imperials. Chicken Kitchen- they screw up my order one more time and put onions on my chicky-chop and the CIA is going to hot wire their soda machines to make everything taste like Dr. Pepper, which is really so misunderstood. California- go ahead- try and secede- make my day. 


Monday, February 27, 2017

THE SAO: TWO VIEWS

We received two comments with two different views on the SAO under State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle.

Here they are for your consideration:

 Anonymous said... It is such a tired line the worship of Reno and the hatred of KFR. Reno was a great person and we have not had an AG Since with her integrity. That said, Reno was the State Attorney when crime was totally out of control in this city. There were double the number of murders and robberies that there are today. German Tourists were being killed regularly by armed robbers. Kathy has been SA during one of the greatest drops in crime and has done many innovative things such as setting up states first human trafficking unit, insurance fraud unit. She disbanded the narcotics unit and increased the staffing of the career criminal unit. All the while Rick Scott destroying her ability to retain staff by giving no raises for 8 years and cutting all employees pay by 3 percent. Not saying she or that office are perfect but all you whiners go defend a case up in Broward and try to reason with one of the robots employed by that office and you will realize it could be much much worse.
 Friday, February 24, 2017 7:20:00 PM 

 And

Anonymous said... Most of the ASAs forced to attend this ego-driven event sat seething for two hours, as speaker after speaker reminded us of the wonderfulness of all that is her. It was regarded as an unnecessary imposition, not a pleasure. When the rabbi finally gave the ending benediction, the ex-judge celebrity who served as MC decided it was appropriate at that point to add another 10 minutes of her remarks. The capper was that absolutely NO thought was given to what was ostensibly the purpose of the gathering, i.e., for the ASA's to be sworn in and have their oath signed by one of the several judges present. Rather than prearrange and announce that the judges array themselves in an organized manner so everyone could line up and do this quickly and easily, a mad crush ensued as ASAs scrambled to get out of there so they could then get into the fun of downtown rush hour traffic. A good time was had by none. The comparisons made to Ms. Reno only reminded us that she would've never staged such an event.
 Saturday, February 25, 2017 6:05:00 AM

We report. You decide.

From Occupied America...Fight the Power!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

DIARY OF A MAD PRESIDENT 2 25 2017

Dear Diary...
It's been a good week. An amazing week. No one has ever seen a week like this in the presidency. BUT...there are some nagging little things I need to take care of next week. 

First, fire this National Security Advisor guy. He got good press. Smart. Capable. It's rubbing me the wrong way. Where was he when I banned muslims from entering the country? Not here. Where was he when I signed the order deporting Arizona? Not here. Those are the real accomplishments of this presidency and what the fake press should be writing. He's gone. Ralph, the head doorman at Trump Tower handled the security for my lobby for ten years. No crazies ever got in. National security. Lobby security. What's the diff? Ralph is my new guy. He knows not to talk to the press and he's already got the uniform with the big hat. It will add some class to this place. 

Second, I have a Jewish problem. I'm not the first world leader to have one. But I've got one...and I need a solution. 
What is it with these people? Every Sunday night Jared has tons of Chinese Food being delivered to the white house. Chinese food? That has to stop. China is manipulating it's currency. Doesn't look American if I'm seen eating sushi and chopped suey. 

It's always the food with these people. And when they're not eating, they're complaining. The service is slow. The bill is too high. The room is too hot..then the room is too cold. Bomb threats at their schools. Some reporter asked me about what I was going to do about this. Don't they know I got the most electoral votes ever? More than Ben Franklin even. Jews must have been some of those electoral votes. I mean don't tell me New York City doesn't have electoral votes. The place is crawling with Chinese restaurants and you can't get near one on Sunday night and that means...well you get the picture. 

Good news Diary. I've fixed the Ivanka problem with Nordstroms. We've opened a beautiful store in the east wing. 3800 square feet of all of her merchandise Nordstroms canned. We had to clear out the situation room for this. But who needs that? There are no situations. Only solutions. John Lennon. Beatles. Real American. Anyway, the tourists will be routed from the Oval Office into Ivanka's store- like when the kids get off the rides at Disney and are dumped into a merchandise store. 

Ivanka's East Wing. It's a beautiful store. An amazing store. No one has ever seen anything like it in the white house before. Best store ever. Best Presidency ever. 

Enemies list. Real quick. Not much time. Tee time today at 11. 
First Amendment. Girl Scouts- those cookies are made in china. Congress. Wo-Hops in Manhattan. Got a delivery bill for 800 bucks. Some nerve. The Vatican. Japan. AP. UPI. Polls. 

That's it for now. 

Oh.. one more thing. Love those girls who took out the North Korean guy at the airport by spraying nerve gas in his face. Brillant. Winners. We need those gals. We don't win anymore like they do. That's going to change. 

I love being President. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

JUDGE SOTO RE-ELECTED

Judge Soto was re-elected this week by her colleagues to serve as head-honcho for a third term.

She ran unopposed.

The White House had this to say:

"While we congratulate Judge Soto on being reelected as chief Judge of the 11th Judicial Circuit in the sanctuary city of Miami Dade County, we remind everyone that her margin of victory was not as big as President Trump's. She didn't run in all 50 states. President Trump got more popular votes than Judge Soto in the United States, in Florida, in South Florida, in Miami-Dade county, and even in Hialeah. We look forward to working with Judge Soto in deporting some seriously bad dudes and President Trump will be happy to meet Judge Soto when Miami's portion of the Wall with Mexico is built."


From Occupied America...fight the power!


Thursday, February 23, 2017

STATE ATTORNEY INVESTITURE TODAY!

It's not a Trump-ian inauguration, and we are sure that Kathy Fernandez-Rundle will not obsess over the size of the turnout, but today is the swearing in of our State Attorney, and all of her assistant state attorneys. 

So if you want to respond when the padre says "whoever objects, speak now or forever hold your peace" this would be the time to do so. 

Here are parts of her speech that we would offer, gratis, for her to use:

"I stand here today in ths shadow of giants. Richard Gerstein, who trained a generation of lawyers who shaped this community and who had the good sense to recommend Janet Reno as his replacement. And of course Janet Reno, who instilled in the next generation of lawyers one simple ethic that applies to any age and any time: Do right. Go where the evidence leads you regardless of the political consequences, and never ever prosecute a person who MAY be innocent....

"Reno and Gerstein planted acorns, that grew into oak trees and you- the members of this great office, stand in the shadow of those great trees. Never forget that you have a lifetime to create your reputation, and just a few seconds to ruin it. Your opponents may mislead you, but you can never mislead them. Judges may dismiss your arguments, but you can never dismiss them. Police and witnesses may not respect you, but you can never disrespect them. In short, you have the toughest job in the legal system. And the best. ...

"Your simple mandate is a holy one in our society. Go do justice. That often means winning, but sometimes means losing. But you don't lose when you dismiss a case or reduce charges or a jury votes not guilty. You still win, because those outcomes could have never occurred without you doing your job. 

"I leave you with this. You are here because I trust you. You are here because this community needs you. And you are here because you care. Never stop caring, and I will never stop believing in you. Now go and do justice."






Wednesday, February 22, 2017

SCORECARD

As any long-suffering Cubs fan occupying chambers on the second floor of the REGJB would tell you, you can't tell the players without a scorecard. 

It's that time of year again, when a new judge's fancy turns to dreams of.... "Judge ___of the Third District Court of Appeals...." "Justice ___Of the Florida Supreme Court..." ... 
"President Trump is pleased to announce he has chosen Judge ____from Miami-Dade County to replace Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg who mysteriously disappeared after a dinner in Berlin with Russian Prime Minister Alexander Putin...."


2017 Investiture Dates


Alexander S. Bokor (County Court)
February 24, 2017


Mark Blumstein (Circuit Court)
March 9, 2017


David H. Young (Circuit Court)
March 10, 2017


Victoria del Pino (Circuit Court)
March 24, 2017


Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts (Circuit Court)
April 20, 2017


Linda Diaz (County Court) [formerly Linda Luce]
April 21, 2017


Marcia Del Rey (Circuit Court)
April 28, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

CAPTION CONTEST

AND THE WINNER OF THE CAPTION CONTEST IS.... (drumroll)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok. So, tomorrow we block off 
both up AND down. He He He.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 
5:02:00 
PM
 Delete

A riddle: How do you know it's Monday in the good ol REGJB? 

Answer: They are fixing the escalators!

Except it's Tuesday- but Monday court's are closed. 

Caption contest: Add caption to picture:



We'll start:
"Fred, I still can't understand Robert's reasoning upholding ObamaCare.



Saturday, February 18, 2017

DIARY OF A MAD PRESIDENT MAR-A-LAGO EDITION

Dear Diary--- just a quick update for Sunday morning. Gave a small speech yesterday. Said "Look what's just happened in Sweden today." because of all the non-vetted refugees/terrorists they let in. Swedes quickly responded on twitter and fake media that nothing bad happened. 
Fake media not reporting news. Fake country. 
Add to enemies list: Sweden. Ikea. Cheap furniture. Takes away american jobs. Memo to self to send in Natl Guard and take that Ikea stuff and sell it at Sears. 
Memo to White House chef: "Pepe, please remove Swedish meatballs from menu. Keep those american burgers coming.DJT."
Memo to Ivanka- no more Dancing Queen.ABBA is verbotten at mein Vhite House. I love the whole German accent thing. Freaks out her pipsqueak husband Jared. Back to Sweden- Memo to Natl Sec Advisor (as soon as one agrees to job) "Shoot a few cruise missiles across Sweden. Patton did it and it worked for him.DJT."

Dear Diary...
Another weekend at Mar-A-Lago, the only $200,000.00 members only winter White House.What an amazing winter White House. Fantastic. Nobody has ever seen a winter White House as tremendous as this one. 
Obama took all those days golfing and flying who knows where and doing who knows what and it cost so much money and this is completely different because...uh...never mind. 

Benjy Netanyahoo- what a name. To be the Prez of Israel and named after a website. So cool. Maybe Google can be changed to Trump? People would say "I'm going to Trump when the next Super Bowl is" or "I'm going to Trump grabbing college freshmen women by the p...." Never mind. Memo to self: Leave Google be. 

Enemies list. Fake news media. CNN. Failing NY Times. NBC. ABC. CBS. ESPN (bring back USFL!!). BBC. Foreign Fake News media. Has a nice ring to it. Memo: Prez of Mexico has 49% stake in NY Times and CNN. I heard that on Breitbart and Fox. 
That guy who turned down the National security advisor job. And that other guy who did too. And that third guy who turned it down as well. New Mexico. Any state with name of Mexico in it can't be a Trump state. 
NATO. Failed. Old. Hitler used NATO to invade London. Historical fact. Maybe its time we and Russia got rid of NATO. If you change the letters in NATO to M  E  X  I  C O you get Mexico. Media never reports that.  

Hillary Clinton got no electoral votes. I won them all. Even Reagan didn't do that. He lost like four votes in Milwaukee to Kennedy or someone. Media doesn't report that. Woops...fake media doesn't report that. 

I agree we need theme for week. This week: enemies of the state: Media. Failing NY Times. National Security Counsel is enemy of people. A job loser. Did Patton have a National Security Advisor when he invaded Korea? No. I don't need one either. 

I love the Constitution. I love the bill of rights. All those rights, and we got a bill for it which we paid because back then we didn't have a deficit. We're going to bring that back. Rights. Wonderful rights. Tremendous rights. People are saying they've never seen anything like the rights we are bringing back. 

Amazing. Best Presidency. Ever. People are saying they've never seen a presidency like this. The OshKoshByJosh-National Enquirer national poll has me at 93% winning. I'm a winner. Amazing poll. Tremendous. People are saying they've never seen a poll like that. 

Final thoughts. Shutting down border with Canada. Saw a briefing. Thousands of jobs being lost to Alaska. Can't have that. Jobs need to stay in America. 

Gonna bomb John McCain with a stealth B-99 Bomber. The same one Patton used to drive the Italians out of Australia. 

I love being president. 


Thursday, February 16, 2017

TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE

45 says the issue of former Natl Sec advisor Flynn resigning is due to conspiracy theories. 



Conspiracy theorist? Takes one to know one.


Obama's  birth certificate is a fraud. 
Obama registered as a "foreign student". 
News. 

Wiretaps showing the national security advisor illegally negotiated with a foreign government during the administration of a prior president= Fake News/ conspiracy theories. 

President Trump: "The leaks are illegal."
Candidate Trump: "I love Wikileaks"

Up is down. 
White is black. 
Truths are lies. 
Lies are true. 

From Occupied America...Fight the Power!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE?

White House in crisis? 

How about the SAO in crisis? 

We received this comment:
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Morale at the office is at an all-time low. So many people have dropped papers that almost no one with experience is left to replace the open positions. At some point, this is going to mean that an important case is mishandled because really how can you expect ASAs who've been at the office barely 3-4 years to handle serious cases? And why is everyone leaving? Shit pay, zero appreciation, nonsensical administration, and a State Attorney who is so far removed from actual office and court life that she thinks the biggest problem in the office is the dress code. Money could be better distributed. The office could be better organized. But that would require a better leader. Leaving the office will be bittersweet but necessary.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 11:37:00 PM


What we want is to hear from the other side. A spirited defense of the Miami SAO, once the premier state prosecuting office in the nation. Lets hear from those prosecutors who want to say all is well, morale is great, and things couldn't be better. 

Let's get to the bottom of this. Is there an internal crisis of confidence at the SAO or not? 

From Occupied America...Fight the Power!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

THE I WORD 1.0

So much to blog about. 

There's the transcript of the phone call between Obama and Trump to be detailed in our "Phone calls of a Mad President" - a snippet: 
Obama: "Bro, you can't be reading documents about a North Korea missile launch in an open restaurant by the light of your aides cell phone light apps. You need a secure room."
Trump: "You're not letting Michelle shop at Nordstroms are you?"

But lets stick with current events. 
Gen Flynn, National Security Director resigned Monday night, a few hours after 45's shill: KellyAnne Myway expressed that 45 had "complete confidence" in his NS director. 
Moral of the story: Don't F with the Vice President. Every administration has one center of power you can't mess with. Bush 43 had Cheney.  Bush 41 and Reagan had James Baker. Obama had himself, the VP, and Valerie Jarrett.
Flynn lied to the Veep and now he's out. 

The question is : What did the President know when Flynn was 
Говоря с россиянами (Govorya s rossiyanami) speaking with the Russians, and when did the President know it? 
Amazingly, Russia is the center of controversy with 45, going back to the early days of his candidacy. Paul Manifort had deep ties to big red. So did Flynn, who may have pocketed some cash during a dash to the Kremlin and back a year or so ago. 

Now, if Flynn- at 45's direction, was undermining US policy and sanctions of the Obama administration during the time Obama was president, then the "I" word is on the table- and we don't mean "I"vanka's "I"nventory at Nordstroms. 

The FBI is investigating. The Senate is investigating. And even the CIA- relegated under Trump and Flynn to second spy-status in the first three weeks of the administration- is racing to Fed-Ex-Kinkos to find a fax machine to tell 45 they might have some info on this. 

It's chaos. Just the way 45 likes it. 

Every day the stock market indexes sets new highs- (buy the IJH ETF on small and midcaps as well as the KBE ETF on banks to play the return of capital tax legislation, and while you're at it, Apple is still a buy as it is going to 150); North Korea is launching missiles;  Ice Caps are melting; people with more than two vowels in their name are banned from the US; our immigrant clients are being rounded up and sent on the St. Louis back home; and a seventy year old ego-maniac roams the halls of the white house residence at all hours of the night in his bathrobe, watching CNN, tweeting, and cursing Nordstroms to startled aides who cross his path. 

It's all good. You couldn't make this up if you tried. Imagine this pitch from a producer to a NetFlix exec in 2012:
Producer: "Ok..imagine. Donald Trump is elected president. He is in bed with the Russians. He has no idea what he is doing and spends his days tweeting, threatening stores who cancel his daughter's clothing line, and orders the Pentagon to invade Montreal?"
NetFlix Exec: "Uhhh... pass. What about that idea for a series about a Bail Bond Agency in Miami that uses ex-strippers to track down felons who skip out on bonds? "

From Occupied America...Fight the Power!  


Monday, February 13, 2017

COMMITMENT IS A TEN LETTER WORD

We received some emails from the SAO.   
Upshot: The SAO is not a fun place to work. 
Everything is scrutinized and anyone who sticks their neck out gets it chopped off. 

Exhibit one: 
From our source:
An ASA who's worked at the office for over three years is leaving on Friday and an email for his/her going away happy hour went out to all ASAs in Graham at around 4pm today. The text of the email is below (with the name of the ASA omitted):

The SAO email: 

_______ has left the SAO!
With _____ gone, our halls will be a little more quiet and the Public Defender’s office will rest a little easier knowing _____ has hung up ___ trial shoes.
Come to Blackbird Ordinary right after work this Friday, February 3, 2017, to celebrate ______ time at the State Attorney’s Office and be reminded of just how much of a trial-dodger we all are.
Date: Feb 3, 2017
Time: Right after work
Place: Blackbird Ordinary
If you choose to drink please do so responsibly.

_______________

From our source: 

This ASA is well regarded by his/her peers as a great trial ASA and a hard worker and it's common knowledge that he/she is leaving before he/her just welcomed a baby into the family and the SAO salary isn't cutting it. Suffice it to say his/her happy hour will be well attended by and colleagues and well wishers and everyone is sad to see him/her leave. Even though he/she has been at the office for more than three years the upper management in Graham says he/she didn't serve out his/her three year commitment so he/she can't leave with his/her badge encased in plastic. 

Someone in management, writing from KFR's personal email account, was none to pleased with the happy hour email and responded with this doozy a few hours later:

________________

KFR email: 

I understand and, certainly, encourage the celebration of an ASA’s years of service to our office and to the public.  However, I was troubled by this email, because I was not aware that such emails were being sent on behalf of ASAs who were/are breaking their commitment to this office and the community we serve. 
As all of you know, we, as an office, take very seriously the commitment made by incoming ASAs.  I do not feel it is appropriate to use office e-mail to celebrate the departure of ASAs who have not honored their commitment.  What was particularly disturbing and offensive about this email, was, also, the denigration of those who work very hard and honor their commitment by stating that they are “trial dodgers.” 
I would like for you to develop a policy on the distribution of these types of emails.
Thank you.

_________________

From our source:

Needless to say, that's not a good way to boost the morale of your underpaid and overworked employees. The ASA in question served more than three years and isn't going to work for a direct competitor in the criminal defense field. And when someone isn't getting paid enough to support their growing family they don't have many choices but to leave the job they love and excel at. Also, the trial dodge line in the original happy hour email was an inside joke that clearly wasn't understood by the sender of the email from KFR's account. If anything, the response email will drive up attendance at the going away happy hour. 

Rumpole notes:
What an awful place to work, where emails are scrutinized and even jokes are criticized. 

From Occupied America...fight the power! 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

DIARY OF A MAD PRESIDENT 2/11/2017

Nordstroms. Nordstroms. Nordstroms.

Dear Diary. I hate Nordstroms. I'm wondering about how they'd feel if the 10th Mountain Division took a stroll through the store?
Gonna tweet. Testing which is better..."failing Nordstroms"..."empty Nordstroms"... "Nobody goes to Nordstroms"...

Memo to self: Call Library of Congress. Get Librarian to give me slogan on Nordstroms. Also...turn Bannon loose on Nordstroms. Whole fake news thing. Hillary shops at Nordstroms. Obama-Care created by Nordstroms. Isis loves Nordstroms. Heard Nordstroms has separate fitting rooms for terrorists wearing those bib thingys.

9th Circuit ruled against me. Some BS about court limiting president's power. They never did that to Obama. Or Nixon. Or Patton. Memo to Bannon- Make me the Nixon/Patton president.

Tweet: "Ninth Circuit has charge account at Nordstroms. Very strange. FBI looking into that."

Worked on the budget today. Lots of suits around table. Deficit, Taxes. All I could think about was Nordstroms cutting Ivanka's clothing line.

Sending Seal Team Six into Yemen. Or someplace like that. Gonna have them drop some Nordstrom bags into the terrorists closets and then take some pics.  Bin Laden had a Nordstroms account. CIA gonna leak that for me.

Meeting with Navy brass later. Issues about scheduling Carrier fleet deployments in South China Sea or something like that. Gonna ask the Admirals if they shop at Nordstroms? Why call it the China sea? Do they own it? No. How about the US Sea? Manhattan sea or Fifth Avenue Sea? Memo to Jared to set the map people straight.

Presidential Executive Order #15. "Effective immediately for National Security reasons, no member of US Armed Forces or government employee may shop at Nordstroms." DJT.

Enemies List: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Nordstroms. Loud-Mouth Liz Warren-Pocahontas. Martinique. Boy Scouts of America. ASPCA. Puppy-Bowl. 

Golf this weekend with Chinese Prez Abe. Or Japanese. What's the diff? Sushi. Chop Suey. It's all the same.

Secret Service shutting down Nodstrom's at West Palm mall. Threats of some sort. Long investigation. Should be open by July. Hahahahaha. I love being Pres.

Gotta go. Gotta set PM of Fiji straight or can you say Aircraft Carrier Patton?

Thursday, February 09, 2017

SO- CALLED APPELLATE COURT AFFIRMS SO-CALLED JUDGE

This is why we celebrated the Trump win. The spectre of constitutional crises every day.

Thursday evening the 9th Circuit court of appeals ("Dude...affirmed!") affirmed the order of the District Court Judge.

The constitutional crisis in the Nixon administration started with the Saturday night massacre, and ended six months later when the Supreme Court upheld the district court judge's order requiring the white house to produce the tapes.  Nixon resigned in August 1974 and Gerald Ford declared "our long national nightmare over." (Over/under on Pence saying that is November, 2018).

In May, 1861, two months into office, President Lincoln suspended the great writ of habeas corpus and then defied the US Supreme Court. As Judge Hirsch has probably recounted dozens of times to dazed young PDs and ASAs,  John Merryman, a State Legislator from Maryland was arrested for hindering the movement of Union Troops.  Merryman was held at Fort McHenry. His lawyer (not Sy Gaer) filed a for a writ of habeas corpus to bring the body of the defendant to a district court. Lincoln issued an executive order (well before Trump ever did) that suspended the right for the great writ of habeas corpus on military bases. The commander of the fort followed the order of his commander in chief and refused to deliver Merryman.

US Supreme Court Chief Judge Roger Taney paused briefly in his penning the Dred Scott decision to rule that Lincoln did not have the authority to issue an order suspending habeas corpus. Lincoln sat tight. He didn't respond. He didn't reply. And he didn't order Merryman released, and we had our first constitutional crises.

We are a blogger of the people. We don't mingle with hoi polloi, but we sometimes visit and observe. And Thursday night was an exercise in the people's version of constitutional law. We sat transfixed, nursing a cheap (for us) Cabernet while a twenty-something SoBe bartender with rings in her nose, lips and ears, and a sleeve of tattoos not covered by a revealing tight black tank-top  lectured us about standing, the 9th circuit, and that their order had no basis in the establishment clause of the first amendment. Fascinating.

We wrote- what seems like an eternity ago- that Article III judges were all that stood between our president and a dictatorship. While we disagree with the 9th circuit's analysis, we are proud to live in a country where a Judge can tell a president "NO" and No means No -Lincoln and Taney not withstanding.

Lincoln refused Taney's order two months into his presidency while struggling to deal with a rebellious Maryland border state. Not to be outdone, 45 has provoked a crisis less than thirty days into office while struggling to deal with a rebellious white house staff. 

Here's the order from the 9th.



From Occupied America...fight the power.

DARKNESS AND LUCK





"And a darkness settled over the 
land. It was a time of upheaval, and pestilence, and tweeting. And his name was Sessions."

The Chronicles Of the End Of America, Horace Rumpole, p. 124. 

Meanwhile, as we predicted Wednesday Morning, and the Captain confirmed Wednesday night, Judge Luck was elevated to the 3rd DCA. 


From Occupied America. 
Fight the Power. 

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

CONGRATS TO JUDGE ROBERT LUCK


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

AND YOUR NEWEST 3RD DCA JUDGE IS .....

JUDGE ROBERT LUCK***

Judge Luck, age 37, earned a raise today. $8,000 to be exact. You see the salary of a Circuit Court Judge is $146,000 while a Judge on the 3rd gets paid $154,000. $8,000 bucks and no more daily calendars; pretty good gig if you ask me. Oh yeah, and the raise also comes with a lifetime appointment; almost forgot about that.

Seriously, Judge Luck is so well deserving of this appointment. He has two degrees from the University of Florida Gators. He clerked for Judge Ed Carnes of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. He even worked for that venerable boutique law firm Greenberg Traurig from 2005-2006. He then joined the U.S. Attorney's Office where he worked for almost seven years.

Then, in 2013, at the ripe old age of 33, Governor Scott appointed Luck to the Circuit Court bench. See our coverage here.
  
Luck faced the voters this past summer for the first time and drew opposition from ex state legislator Yolly Roberson. He defeated Roberson 54% to 46%. It appears now that that will have been his one and only election.

Judge Luck has spent the past three and one half years assigned to both the Criminal Division as well as the General Jurisdiction Division (Civil). While many criticized Scott for appointing a 33 year old to an open seat on the Circuit Court, Luck has generally been well received in both the Criminal and Civil Divisions by attorneys on both sides of the isle.

The appointment of Luck opens a seat on the Circuit bench that will be named by Scott sometime in May of 2017.

***As predicted earlier today by lead scribe of this Blog, Horace Rumpole and his crystal ball.

IN OTHER 3RD DCA NEWS TODAY .....

3rd DCA Judge Linda Ann Wells has announced her retirement. She has aged out and Gov Scott will name her replacement. So, it looks like one of the names not chosen today by the Gov to replace retiring Judge Frank Shepherd will have a second shot and that should happen in the next few months; ARE YOU LISTENING JUDGES Browyn Miller and Norma Lindsey, along with attorneys Fleur Lobree, John Greco, and Oren Rosenthal.

The 3rd DCA currently has a makeup of ten judges:

Richard J. Suarez, Chief Judge
Linda Ann Wells
Frank A. Shepherd
Leslie B. Rothenberg
Barbara Lagoa
Vance E. Salter
Kevin Emas
Ivan F. Fernandez
Thomas Logue
Edwin A. Scales, III

With the departure of Shepherd and Wells, once their two replacements are named (Luck and ?), Gov Scott will have named 50% of the sitting judges including Judges Fernandez, Logue, Scales, Luck and Judge Wells replacement. Scott's second four year term as Governor ends on January 3, 2019 and he is widely expected to run against Senator Bill Nelson in the Fall 2018 election.

Also, 3rd DCA Judge Salter turns 70 years old in 2018; Judge Rothenberg turns 70, I believe, in 2019 (not completely sure). So, there is a real chance that Scott could have at least two more appointments to the 3rd before he leaves office.

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

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

WHY 45 SHOULD WIN IN THE 9TH CIRCUIT

UPDATE: It's going to be one "Luck  y" judge who will be appointed to the 3rd DCA shortly. 
We shook our magic 8 ball and asked who would the Gov appoint? 
"All signs lead to Luck."

The Judge has impeccable credentials. Clerked for the "right" judge at the 11th Cir. A fav of the Federalist Society (Motto: "Committed since 1985 to overruling Marbury v. Madison and ending liberal judicial review.") Judge Luck has done a fine job on the criminal bench and we are lucky to have him working in our community. 

Judges Miller and Lindsey and ASA Lobree have all been told they are on the short list for the next vacancy and have been urged to re-apply. 

THE 9TH SHOULD REVERSE OR LIMIT THE STAY

Longtime and careful readers of this blog well know that other than the sheer entertainment value of the current presidency, there is little we like or respect coming from 45's White House in terms of policy. 

But the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals should reverse the District Court judge and lift the stay on the order. Here is why:

It is bad precedent for a court to meddle in a president's national security order.

Trump's travel ban is racist. Much like the decision in Korematsu, it is un-american, representing the worst of our country's xenophobic and nativist tendencies. 
But only the president gets the Presidential Daily Briefing. Only the president gets ALL the intelligence from the various US intelligence agencies. And therefore, as much as we do not like, trust, or respect this president, there should not be precedent of an appellate court substituting its judgment for that of a president's judgment in the area of national security. Period. 

Assume an evil race of aliens landed and took over Australia. Call them the ....TomBradys. And assume the evil aliens worship some black-hearted deity...call him Belichick. Assume all who worship Belichick have one goal in their religion- the destruction of the United States. It would be constitutional and the absolute duty of the President to ban all TomBradys from entering this country based on their race and religion in order to protect this country. Period. Some orders based on race and religion are constitutional, as difficult as that is to stomach.  

The current travel ban is wrong. It is misplaced. It does not make our country safer and probably endangers our country even more. All of that being said, the principle of the President having near unfettered authority at the boarder and in areas of national security must- for the power of presidency- be preserved. And sadly, in this case that means reversing the well intentioned order of the district court and lifting the stay. 

See You In Court in Occupied America. Fight the power. 


DIARY OF A MAD PRESIDENT FEBRUARY 6 2017

Dear Diary, Things are fantastic. Amazing. Best two weeks of a presidency. Ever. 

This statute of liberty thing is a real mess. Give me your tired... the hell with that. Tired is Bush. Give me your tough guys, full of energy, ready to work. That's what I want. Do people even know France dumped that thing in our harbor? France...a country four fat germans pulling a potato cart invaded and conquered. Then we had to have our greatest General, General Patton invade at Dday and rescue the French. 

Note to self- find out when Dday celebrates Patton's invasion and take Trump One to Dday France and give a speech. Then spend the night at my golf course in Ireland. How far can Dday be from my hotel anyway? 

That appeals court better do the right thing tonight. We have to have courts, but no one says we have to pay the light bill. Rule against me and let them sit in the dark for awhile. I'm done playing games. 

Speaking of games, the Super Bowl was good, but if I find out that little snit Jared took my phone when old Bush flipped the coin so I couldn't tweet how pathetic he looked...I'll do something. Send him to Israel for a month. Some jew...I've seen him snarfing down the shrimp cocktails at the club when he thought no one was looking. And its all free food for him. My dad would have charged him...he charged me so why not him?

Bannon made the cover of Time. First for him. I've been on like a dozen times. And better covers. Best selling ever. I checked the numbers. His cover sold real poorly. One of the worst. They won't make that mistake again. Or I'll turn off their lights too. Let them type in the dark.

Saturday night live. Time to take off the gloves. I'm done fooling around. First, gonna order re-runs of the Apprentice with me in charge to air opposite their show. Second, one word: NSA.  Lets seem them get numbers when their signal is scrambled.

Melania and Barron are in New York. This is soooo cool. I have the place to myself. Long talks at night with Vladimir. He gets me. He really really does. Not a killer. Just a big Russian teddy-bear. And he has those pics of Russian models that he sends me. All over six feet tall...

Memo to self...take Ruth Bader Ginsberg out to eat. McDonalds. She's a few big Macs from a coronary.

Enemies list. Schumer. Vermont. Zimbabwe. That group of Nuns picketing the White House. Jared- if he stole my phone. Bannon. No more Time covers. EVER! Pence is on thin ice. Needs to back me up more. Ben and Jerry. Worst Ice Cream ever. So overrated. The press never reports that. It's all fake news about me and my poll numbers, not that Chunky-Monkey is a failing ice cream with Bananas in it. 

Gotta go Diary. Belgium issued some statement about refugees. Gonna call their Prime Minister. Lets see how they like it when I kick them out of Nato and buzz Parliament with B-52s. Phone call now. First up- triple the tariff on Belgium chocolates. Then ban those stupid waffles. Hit them where they live I say. 



Monday, February 06, 2017

A NEW HOPE

It's a period of civil war. Rebel lawyers, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Trump Empire derailing the Emperor's plans to deport and bar an entire race of people.

 During the battle, rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, Steve Bannon-  an evil genius given access to enough nuclear weapons to destroy an entire planet. 


Pursed by the Empire's sinister agents, Princess Elizabeth Warren and Prince Schumer  race home,  custodian of the stolen plans that can save their people and restore freedom to the United States.



Sunday, February 05, 2017

NO STAY FOR YOU!!

SUPER BOWL UPDATE: We got the coin toss right. Again. We always do. It's a lock. Take the Falcons, no points, lay 100, win 130. The o/u is a massive 58. It's a tough call and while we originally liked the over, take the under. Could be 28-21, or even 35-23. It will be close. Enjoy the game. 
HR.


The 9th Circuit to the rescue! (lots of escalation points today!!). 

The Trump Justice Department (Motto "your papers please..." (said in an ominous German accent)) appealed District Court Judge James Robart's order which blocked nationwide 45's immigration ban/order/birthday party invite.

Robart- a Bush 43 appointee unanimously confirmed in a voice vote in 2000, was first attacked on Twitter by the so-called leader of the free world who tweeted
"The opinion of this so-called judge...is ridiculous and will be overturned!" (exclamation point original!).
Justice lawyers worked over-time on Saturday, pausing only to watch SNL skewer 45, and filed a stay request with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Mission Statement "Dude! Bringing justice to the coast when we're not snowboarding and goroving")

This morning, in language peppered with west coast legalese,  the Ninth Circuit said "no way Dude President man...no stay for you. Grad a burrito and send us some more briefs like on Monday."




Meanwhile- It's Superbowl Sunday, and our preliminary review leads us to believe you should eschew the points, take the Falcons and the odds, and slam all your dough on over and tails for the coin toss. More later. 

Prediction- 45 mocks 92 year old George Herbert Walker Bush's superbowl coin toss "No one wants to see old guy in wheelchair tossing coin at superbowl. Loser to Clinton. I beat a Clinton. No more fed funding for Super Bowl and NFL??"


Saturday, February 04, 2017

THE ONE PERCENT SOLUTION

President Trump has a dilemma. 
It's not a Deluna dilemma- the type REGJB lawyers face in trial- but it is a dilemma nevertheless. 


The landmark decision in  DeLuna v. United States, 308 F.2d 140, 141 (5th Cir. 1962) announced the principle that an accused is entitled to a new trial where counsel for a co-defendant brings to the attention of the jury the fact that the accused did not testify. The rationale for the principle set forth in DeLuna is as follows:If comment on an accused's silence is improper for judge and prosecutor, it is because of the Effect on the jury, not just because the comment comes from representatives of the State. Indeed, the effect on the jury of comment by a co-defendant's attorney might be more Harmful than if it comes from judge or prosecutor. A judge, in keeping with his high degree of responsibility to conduct a fair trial, would be expected to give a balanced, moderate explanation of the inferences to be drawn from silence. Similarly, but to a lesser degree, a prosecutor would be expected to recognize his/her responsibility for fair comment. But much less restraint can be expected from an attorney to whom no little latitude is  allowed when zeal, emotion, eloquence and the advocate's afflatus take hold of a jury argument. Thus it is the fact of comment rather than the source of comment that effects denial of the right to remain silent.

Any judge's want to comment on the DeLuna dilemma? 

BACK TO THE SENATE:
There are one hundred senators in the Senate. The split is 52 republicans, 47 democrats and one cranky old guy from Maine who caucuses (literally "to eat for free with") with the Democrats. 

Two fair-minded republican senators (Alaska and Maine) have indicated they will not vote for Betsy DeVo$, the  trillionaire nominee for Secretary of Education (who famously testified that the solution to over-crowded schools is for more minority parents to get off their duffs and pay for private school). 

That would put the vote for Devo$ at 50/50 requiring, as every County Court Judge in the REGJB knows- the tie breaking vote of VP Mike Pence ("Oh gooody! Finally something to do besides shaming women who get abortions"). 

BUT...and here's where it gets tricky- IF the Senate confirms Wild Bill Sessions for Attorney General BEFORE Devo$, then after careful numerical calculations done extensively by the President's son-in-law, there would be only 49 republican senators voting for DeVo$ and 50 Senators voting against and the nomination would Fail. Not win. And Trump always wins- except when sending Seals to raid Somalia. 

Each senator represents one percent of the senate. Thus- to get DeVo$ in Education, Sessions has to stay in the senate- at least a little while longer.  That is the one percent solution. And that can't be a bad thing for Justice. 

It's a real headache. Enough, if you're President, to make you want to chew-out the leader of Portugal, or Granada. 

See You in court, where we love DeLuna dilemmas.


Friday, February 03, 2017

KHURRUM WAHID EDITORIAL IN MIAMI HERALD TODAY

Khurrum Wahid is a criminal defense. He is also of middle east origin of some sort- we don't know because we've never asked him just like he's never asked us if we were born in Chicago, or Detroit, or San Francisco. It really doesn't matter. We don't know his religion. He might be a Muslim. He might be Christian or a Jew or a Druid. It's never come up in conversation because his religion matters not one whit to jurors and his superior abilities as a great lawyer. He wrote an Op/Ed piece that is in the Herald today:


History has a funny way of daring us to forget its greatest lessons. If we pause to listen to the rhythm, we can hear clearly the repeating beat. President Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order, in the name of “protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States” was history’s drum beat thundering to us all.
The tune rung of Japanese internment, Jim Crow, mass incarceration, the Patriot Act and every other beat determined to tear us away from our founding ideals.
Absent engagement and civil resistance, we would see a gruesome symphony start to play through the halls of our democracy. Within 12 hours of the executive order banning travel for people from from seven majority-Muslim nations, I was inundated with texts from people who knew concerned family members and were waiting at airports without any idea if their relatives were coming out.
Along with a swarm of attorneys across the nation, I helped find people representation. While on my way to Miami International Airport on Sunday morning, prepared to assist, I heard about Maysam Sodagari, a young Iranian man who was on a gay cruise and, with immigration attorney Saman Movassaghi and OutMiami’s Director Jaime Bayo, sought his release.
Sodagari holds a green card. Acquiring one is a multi-year process of extreme vetting. Yet he had been taken in for a secondary inspection at the Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. Sodagari was released, but without individualized suspicion he should not have been detained at all. His crime was being born in Iran. Sodagari’s fear that day is the same fear of millions within our borders, ranging from undocumented children who currently have the protection of the law under DACA to U.S. citizens from majority-Muslim nations.
As we enter Black History Month, we celebrate those who did the right thing even when it was against the law and we reflect on the impact of our current movements. We read from the teaching of leaders like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who told us that, “The arc of the moral universe is long but bends toward justice.” This arc, however, cannot bend itself. History will judge us harshly if we do grab and bend that arc toward justice ourselves.
Each of us has a role to play. Each of us has a unique talent we can leverage to ensure that policies are moral and just. What happens to one of us, happens to all of us. Right now, about 50 percent of people support a Muslim ban. But popular opinion is not a sound basis for policy. Recently, a travel ban on those seven countries strikes at the worst of our shared values. In the current climate, the LGBTQ community, women, African Americans, Muslims, Latinos and, broadly, immigrants will likely be the target of a fear-filled policy that challenges the American values of equality and fairness.
Our history is filled with government by fear, and we must ensure that our future is not darkened by this cloud. Policies like Trump’s executive order have failed the test of history. We must remember that if the laws are unjust, then it’s up to us to change them.
The reaction to this travel ban proved that many in the public square were actively listening to history’s repeated beat. In the past week, I’ve seen Americans who have lived in the country for generations come out in support of immigrants to whom they have no connection. I have seen attorneys leap into action to preserve the fundamentals of our Constitution. I have watched local community leaders reach out to other communities in solidarity, often for the first time. It is true when they say that every crisis brings an opportunity if we just look for it. In the end, President Trump has united the country, but perhaps not in the way he had intended.
There are three branches of government and we must engage all three: Reach out to legislators and propose better laws; use the courts as the check and balance on the other two branches when it is required; engageand support good executive branch efforts and resisting poorly thought out policy because, yes, resistance is a form of engagement.
KHURRUM WAHID IS A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AND NATIONAL CHAIRPERSON FOR EMERGE USA.




Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article130454904.html#storylink=cpy

DIARY OF A MAD PRESIDENT 2-2-17

Dear Diary,
Things are going well. 
Muslims=out. 
Press=on the way out. 
Australia=a joke. 

I'm reducing Mexico to a quivering mass of guacamole. Threaten to send in troops. Tell the world I love Mexicans. Then build a wall. Haven't even mentioned selling express lane tickets. Skip the lines for entry! Disney has it right. And these idiots doubt I will make them pay for the wall. Memo to self: trip to Chipoltes. Eat some Mex. Tell world I love their food. Prime time coverage. It will be fantastic. 

OK. Lots to do. That Canadian punk- Trudeau. Beginning to annoy me by taking in refugees I've banned. Speak to Mad-Dog about mobilizing the 4th Armored Division and some war games on the boarder. F-18s can buzz their capital. Why should people in Montreal sleep securely? 

Iran= toast. Just not sure when or how.
That raid into Yemen sucked. We will always win when I am President.That's what I said. Need to make sure Obama takes the hit on that one. 

I'm not done with the inauguration crowd issue.This is really getting under my skin. Melania told me I had the biggest ever. But she's been saying that since our second date. Sometimes I wonder about her... Vladimir has some satellite photos that prove my point. Just to need to negotiate the price down. 

Senate. Nobody understands the filibuster thing. I don't either but nobody cares. The way it should work is I issue an order, Congress approves. Why is it called The Congress when it's the congress and the senate? Need to change that. 

Spoke to CIA guys about Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Apparently there's some law about assassination but a nice retirement in some apartment in Bulgaria isn't out of the question. She's a feisty one, Could out last me and then I won't get Judge Bork on the court where he should have been years ago. That will make headlines when I announce that. Thinking halftime of next superbowl.

Senators Graham and McCain...they are pebbles in my shoe. Speaking to Rudy and Jared about them. Jared took out fatso Gov of NJ so that should be easy. 

Gotta go-- sending Aircraft carrier Bush to threaten the Canary islands. This is fun. The next carrier built will be named Ivanka...then Barron... 

Pres. DJT.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AYN RAND




She's the author of two of the best-selling books of all time. But more than that, she is one of the foremost modern proponents of the belief that ideas and philosophy matter. You don't have to approve of her philosophy to approve of her writings on behalf of Philosophy qua non. The proof that ideas matter and a philosophy is needed for an individual to lead a productive life.

Rand was at her core, an individualist who advanced the belief that a person's mind was the singular attribute a person needed to survive and thrive.

Rand has gone from being scorned as someone who hated the poor (not true-she merely felt no person had a right to the fruits of another's honest labor)  to be admired and the intellectual "fountainhead" of the neo-conservative (and non-religious) movement.

Like her or not- her contribution to philosophy, economics, law, art, and politics must be recognized.

Here are two two excerpts- a clip from a Phil Donahue- who was fascinated with this small woman with a thick Russian accent who denied the existence of a supreme being.

The second is the famous "Money is the root of all evil" speech from Atlas Shrugged. We defy anyone to identify a more concise and correct  essay on economics than this speech. 



MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL
(The Francisco d'Aconia speech, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand). 

“So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Aconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?
“When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor – your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money. Is this what you consider evil?
“Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions – and you’ll learn that man’s mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.
“But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made – before it can be looted or mooched – made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can’t consume more than he has produced.
“To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except by the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return. Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more. Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain, not their loss – the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery – that you must offer them values, not wounds – that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods. Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men’s stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best your money can find. And when men live by trade – with reason, not force, as their final arbiter – it is the best product that wins, the best performance, then man of best judgment and highest ability – and the degree of a man’s productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil?
“But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality – the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind.
“Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants; money will not give him a code of values, if he’s evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he’s evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up by becoming the victim of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him, but the cheats and the frauds come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered: that no man may be smaller than his money. Is this the reason why you call it evil?
“Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth – the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve that mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?
“Money is your means of survival. The verdict which you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men’s vices or men’s stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment’s or a penny’s worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you’ll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money?
“Money will always remain an effect and refuse to replace you as the cause. Money is the product of virtue, but it will not give you virtue and it will not redeem your vices. Money will not give you the unearned, neither in matter nor in spirit. Is this the root of your hatred of money?
“Or did you say it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is the loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money – and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.
“Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.
“Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another – their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.
“But money demands of you the highest virtues, if you wish to make it or to keep it. Men who have no courage, pride, or self-esteem, men who have no moral sense of their right to their money and are not willing to defend it as they defend their life, men who apologize for being rich – will not remain rich for long. They are the natural bait for the swarms of looters that stay under rocks for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of a man who begs to be forgiven for the guilt of owning wealth. They will hasten to relieve him of the guilt – and of his life, as he deserves.
“Then you will see the rise of the double standard – the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money – the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law – men who use force to seize the wealth ofdisarmed victims – then money becomes its creators’ avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they’ve passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.
“Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.
“Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it becomes, marked: ‘Account overdrawn.’
“When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, ‘Who is destroying the world?’ You are.
“You stand in the midst of the greatest achievements of the greatest productive civilization and you wonder why it’s crumbling around you, while you’re damning its life-blood – money. You look upon money as the savages did before you, and you wonder why the jungle is creeping back to the edge of your cities. Throughout men’s history, money was always seized by looters of one brand or another, but whose method remained the same: to seize wealth by force and to keep the producers bound, demeaned, defamed, deprived of honor. That phrase about the evil of money, which you mouth with such righteous recklessness, comes from a time when wealth was produced by the labor of slaves – slaves who repeated the motions once discovered by somebody’s mind and left unimproved for centuries. So long as production was ruled by force, and wealth was obtained by conquest, there was little to conquer. Yet through all the centuries of stagnation and starvation, men exalted the looters, as aristocrats of the sword, as aristocrats of birth, as aristocrats of the bureau, and despised the producers, as slaves, as traders, as shopkeepers – as industrialists.
“To the glory of mankind, there was, for the first and only time in history, a country of money – and I have no higher, more reverent tribute to pay to America, for this means: a country of reason, justice, freedom, production, achievement. For the first time, man’s mind and money were set free, and there were no fortunes-by-conquest, but only fortunes-by-work, and instead of swordsmen and slaves, there appeared the real maker of wealth, the greatest worker, the highest type of human being – the self-made man – the American industrialist.
“If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose – because it contains all the others – the fact that they were the people who created the phrase ‘to make money’. No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity – to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted, or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. The words ‘to make money’ hold the essence of human morality.
“Yet these were the words for which Americans were denounced by the rotted cultures of the looters’ continents. Now the looters’ credo has brought you to regard your proudest achievements as a hallmark of shame, your prosperity as guilt, your greatest men, the industrialists, as blackguards, and your magnificent factories as the product and property of muscular labor, the labor of whip-driven slaves, like the pyramids of Egypt. The rotter who simpers that he sees no difference between the power of the dollar and the power of the whip, ought to learn the difference on his own hide – as, I think, he will.
“Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns – or dollars. Take your choice – there is no other – and your time is running out.”