JANUARY 21, 2005

These are the Ramblings of a small town, (Holden, population 2,700), Missouri, country lawyer. They contain my random thoughts and observations on current events and my life and experiences in the Solo Practice of law.
Compiled here are the Ramblings for 2002 - 2004. 

Archived Prior Ramblings

In Memorium:
September 11, 2001

  02-22-02  03-30-02  04-05-02
  04-21-02  04-27-02  05-01-02
  05-03-02  05-10-02  05-17-02
  05-31-02  06-21-02  06-26-02
  06-29-02  07-04-02  07-05-02
  07-12-02  08-02-02  08-10-02
  08-21-02  08-23-02  08-30-02
  09-06-02  09-11-02  09-11-02F
  09-13-02  09-20-02  09-27-02
  10-04-02  10-11-02  10-18-02
  10-25-02  11-01-02  11-08-02
  11-15-02  11-22-02  11-29-02
  12-06-02  12-13-02  12-20-02

  01-03-03  01-10-03  01-10-03R
  01-17-03  01-24-03  01-31-03
  02-07-03  02-14-03  02-21-03
  02-28-03  03-07-03  03-14-03
  03-21-03  03-28-03  04-04-03
  04-11-03  04-18-03  04-25-03
  05-02-03  05-09-03  05-16-03
  05-23-03  05-30-03  06-06-03
  06-20-03  06-27-03  07-04-03
  07-11-03  07-18-03  07-25-03
  08-01-03  08-08-03  08-15-03
  08-22-03  08-29-03  09-05-03
  09-12-03  09-19-03  09-26-03
  10-03-03  10-10-03  10-17-03
  10-24-03  10-31-03  11-07-03
  11-14-03  11-21-03  11-28-03
  12-05-03  12-12-03  12-19-03

  01-02-04  01-09-04  01-16-04
  01-23-04  01-30-04  02-06-04
  02-13-04  02-20-04  02-27-04
  03-05-04  03-12-04  03-19-04
  03-29-04  04-02-04  04-09-04
  04-16-04  04-23-04  04-30-04
  05-07-04  05-14-04  05-21-04
  05-28-04  06-11-04  06-18-04
  06-25-04  07-09-04  07-16-04
  07-23-04  07-30-04  08-06-04
  08-13-04  08-20-04  08-27-04
  09-03-04  09-10-04  09-17-04
  09-24-04  10-01-04  10-08-04
  10-15-04  10-22-04  10-29-04
  11-05-04  10-12-04  11-19-04
  11-26-04  12-03-04  12-10-04
  12-17-04  12-24-04  12-30-04
  01-07-05  01-14-05  01-21-05
Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of January 21, 2005. Last Saturday, Charles Grainer was convicted, by a military tribunal, of abusing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison. His defense? Same as Lt. Calley's, for the My Lai massacre:  "I knew what I was doing was wrong ... but I was only following orders".  [As an aside, after a full investigation, only 25 persons were charged for the March 16, 1968 My Lai massacre:  most involved were no longer in the military and therefore not subject to a military tribunal, (see Toth v. Quarles, 350 US 11 (1955)) . Of those charged, only Calley was found guilty in 1971. His sentence: "To be confined at hard labor for the length of your natural life; to be dismissed from the service; to forfeit all pay and allowances."  Calley never served the sentence: President Nixon ordered Calley removed from the stockade and placed under house arrest.  Calley was paroled on November 9, 1974.  Click HERE for the complete story.]  What in the world was Grainer's defense counsel thinking?  Like ... this defense has EVER been used successfully?  Isn't it right up there with ... "the Devil made me do it?" Also this week, seems British troops may also have abused Iraqi prisoners, (makes you wonder if anyone in charge is familiar with the Stanford Experiment?)  My Dear Friend David Browning opined that the defense was based on: "The theory was that the peasant owed his lord absolute obedience and that the King/Lord took on the moral responsibility for all orders issued." I suppose, when leadership is divinely inspired, or an arm of the divine, the defense is absolute, "I was only doing what God ordered me to do."  Isn't that what the Japanese leadership said at the end of World War II, to justify their behaviors? (Didn't work for them either, Click HERE for an overview).  So share with me ... in a society that has a staunch separation of "Church and State", like my America,  where we affirm allegiance to the Constitution, not our leader, how is there room for such a defense?

Richard Hatch was the winner of a million dollars on the TV show "Survivor".  Many in my America watched the series and watched him win the million dollars.  "In November, 2002 Hatch filed a false personal income tax return for the 2000 tax year by failing to report the $1,010,000.00 paid him by "Survivor Entertainment Group"  ... so what in the world compelled him to file an income tax return ... devoid of any mention of this income?  Now, Hatch is looking at 5 years in a Federal Prison and a $250,000.00 fine. In real life, Hatch is a consultant running his company, "Tri-Whale Training", teaching "Leadership" and "Team Building", (should be real helpful organizing prison gangs). Rumor has it, that "Survivor Entertainment Group" has contacted both Hatch and Martha Stewart to host a new "survivor" series:   "Survivor!!! In Prison!!", (the surviving inmate gets soap on a rope for the term of their sentence and a guarantee they will always get the upper berth.)

In a study released this week in the Journal of "Psychosomatic Medicine", men with a low IQ are three times more likely to commit suicide. The good news?   They were only successful one third of the time.

I knew it would have to happen sooner or later. Christian Conservatives are going after SpongeBob Square Pants, (he does have a male roommate and adventure partner, Patrick!) and his cohorts, like Barney, (the very metrosexual purple dinosaur), Winnie the Pooh, (don't tell me trying to get your paw in the honey jar, isn't a sexual allegory!), Bob the Builder, (a young man with unhealthy relationships with "tools"),  the Rugrats, (obviously the offspring of multiple unholy unions) and Big Bird, (an obvious phallic symbol) et al.  [Click HERE to read the article].  I guess some evils, (like beauty), remain in the eye of the beholder:  "The wacky square yellow SpongeBob is one of the stars of a music video due to be sent to 61,000 U.S. schools in March. The makers -- the nonprofit "We Are Family Foundation" -- say the video is designed to encourage tolerance and diversity. But at least two Christian activist groups say the innocent cartoon characters are being exploited to promote the acceptance of homosexuality."  Seems the American Family Association and Focus on the Family, take umbrage with the message contained in the video:  "I pledge to have respect for people whose abilities, beliefs, culture, race, sexual identity or other characteristics are different from my own."  "A short step beneath the surface reveals that one of the differences being celebrated is homosexuality," wrote Ed Vitagliano in an article for "the American Family Association" ... and by James Dobson, founder of "Focus on the Family", "Their inclusion of the reference to 'sexual identity" within their 'tolerance pledge' is not only unnecessary, but it crosses a moral line."  I suppose transgender folks should also not be respected as people.  I guess for some Christians, "tolerance" crosses more of a "moral line" than the hate involved in "gay bashing".   Why such energy spent on homosexuality?  Wouldn't it be better, from a "family" standpoint, to focus on encouraging folks who live together, to marry?  So share with me  .... why is "fornication" less of an "abomination" in the eyes of God, than "homosexuality"? Do you really think God judges which body parts are used to express love?

Been watching the "Bird Flu"  for the past year:  for those interested, click HERE for the Webpage I watch, (see the February 6, 2004 Ramblings for a quick overview of Avian Flu).  In the past 3 weeks, 7 persons have died from it, (the good news:  it does not appear to be human to human infection, YET, but instead, contact with infected birds.)  It is only a matter of time before the bug mutates:  when it does, there will be hell to pay!  Be worried.

Sitting here editing these Ramblings ... (just let Daisy and Max back in) ... it is cold and nasty outside:  the fireplace is cranking and Ft. Timmerman is nice and warm.  Today, the Bar posted some "Family" members pictures':  way cool, I will add them to the SFIG Family Album, (hehehe ... been bugging Kurt Valentine for his picture for 3 years ... now I have it! :)  On the evening news, Iraqi on Iraqi violence is escalating as the election draws closer. It will get worse before it gets better. Some Chinese folks were kidnapped by "insurgents" in Iraq this week.  Reminds me of when Hesbulla, in Syria, in the late 70's, kidnapped some Russian folks.  Was not a good move:  seems, at the time, the Russians weren't concerned about "world opinion", the "Geneva Convention", morality or playing nice.  They sent in their "special forces" folks and killed everyone they suspected .... suspected, had anything to do with it and left a message ... turn our folks loose ... or we will be back tomorrow and every day thereafter until no one is left.  Pretty barbaric. They didn't need to return. Think the Chinese don't much care about "world opinion" either. My Dear Friend Les Steinberg will attend a party tonight, for one of our men and women in uniform ... who has come safely home ... <whispering> ... Thank you, God! .... Les asked ... if anyone wanted to welcome him home ... to send him, (Les) an email and he would deliver it to his friend, tonight. Susan and I did.  So share with me ... when did you send your email? You did take a moment, to show a small sign of respect, just to send a quick email, before posting some question or comment to the SFIG, didn't you?  ... just a quick "I may not agree about you having been sent. Do not support the politics but do support our men and women in uniform, like you. I want you to know that I respect your honorable service and sacrifice. Thank you.  Welcome home."  You did do so, didn't you?  Don't you talk politics, concern or dissent on where our America is heading, our leadership, our role in the world, while expressing you do so, to support our troops? So share with me .... you had an opportunity to do so today. Did you?  ... You didn't? .... <whispering> ..... Hypocrite!  There are many more in harms way tonight.  Most don't want to be there. As I curl around the most wonderful partner a man can have and whisper my prayers, as I drift off to sleep ... one whisper will remain the same  .... "<whispering> ..... Please, Please, Please, God, let them all come home safe and soon ... and Lord, Thank you for bringing Eddie McCoy home safe ... and if it's not too much trouble, keep an eye on Spc. Thorpe as well."  Be and sleep well, the best there is, is on watch so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize ... that is not my intent.  As always  ...
A Warm Brotherly Hug
Karl (the dumb ole country lawyer from Holden, Missouri)

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Karl H. Timmerman M.A.J.D. 2005
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