Thursday, December 27, 2007

500 Posts and 100 Million Dollars

I think I hit a milestone this morning: if the counter on the Blogger start page is correct, this will be my 500th post! I find that pretty interesting...even I didn't think I'd have that much to say, or that I'd have as many people reading and commenting on it as I do. Hot diggity dog!

Okay, enough self-congratulatory backpatting ... Christmas is over, I was a good boy, and I think I've earned the right to start easing myself back into my more comfortably curmudgeonly demeanor. Let's talk about a few of my favorite topics: writing, doing your job, and justice.

In my collection of Blog Fodder is a CNN article from this past March 29th titled "Justice Gets Wrong Statute, Pays $100 M(illion) Price." The short version of the article is that a man convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 9 years in prison had part of his sentence thrown out by a judge because the Justice Department had written the plea agreement with the defendant incorrectly, citing the wrong law as the basis for assessing a civil penalty of between $100-175 million. The result: 9 years of jail time, but the convicted man didn't have to repay the money.

Of course, the government was quick to appeal the judge's decision under other statutes and the money was expected to be eventually recovered, but just think about the issues here:

1. Someone whose job it is to write ironclad legal documents made a mistake worth a hundred million dollars.

2. A white-collar crook actually stole that much by avoiding taxes.

3. The government had to spend a lot more money on new legal processes to fix the mistake it made in the first place.

What could we do with a hundred million dollars?

We could improve education, repair crumbling bridges, and provide medical care for people accidentally shot by the Vice President.

We could pay for a few more days of Mr Bush's war, which has already wasted hundreds of billions of dollars that could have been better spent here at home.

We could probably buy most of the illegal aliens hiding in plain sight and ship them home first class.

We, the Real People of this country, could buy some Congressmen that would actually represent us, and do something rather than spend all their time pointing fingers of blame at each other.

I wish I had a hundred million dollars.

But I guess I'll just have to settle for the 500 posts.

Thanks for being here, and for listening to me fulminate. Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

6 comments:

Amanda said...

500 posts is an amazing accomplishment! Congratulations!

I have a few photos of Kuala Lumpur on my blog but not the ones I was hoping to get. I'm sorry I couldn't get any shots of the city's real character and personality. What I have there just shows how much of a shopping paradise it is. Maybe next time.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Congrats on the 500th post!

I would take a fraction of that 100 million and be quite happy.

Mike said...

This is just to save anyone else from looking up - fulminate - "publish a 'thundering' denunciation"

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Well done on reaching the 500 figure!

How does anyone make that sort of mistake?

Serina Hope said...

500!! Congratulations!

John said...

Congrats!