Karl H. Timmerman M.A.J.D. © 2002
All Rights Reserved
A MISSOURI LAWYER'S
FRIDAY NIGHT RAMBLINGS
MoBar Solo and Small Firm Internet Group
JANUARY 24, 2003
Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of 1-24-03. My friends tell me these Ramblings will offend, (I share bits and pieces with friends as I write them). They are probably right. It is not my intent to offend. I have reached a point in my life, where I want to share my mistakes and what I have learned ... I have not learned from other folks mistakes, (I'm not smart enough ... although, I'm told there are folks who are), guess like you ... I must make my own. Like to think you would take a moment, a time out, to read these Ramblings. To think about things I have thrown on the table
Celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King on Monday, (closed the office ... wanted to take time to reflect, on the meaning of his contribution to my America ... and spend some quiet time with Susan). Reread Dr. King's "I Have a Dream Speech". His cry for justice brought me close to tears: as it should any person of good will. Now, thirty-eight years later, I am trying to understand how close to the dream we are. Are there vestiges of racism remaining in America? Yes. Are these vestiges actively pursued and prosecuted? Yes. Is there a mechanism in place to seek redress? Yes. Could race relations in my America be better? Yes. All other factors being equal, should a person of color get preferential treatment based SOLELY on them being a person of color? Share with me why? The concept of "Affirmative Action" raises the passions of many, both for and against. "Affirmative Action" was supposed to be a mechanism that would "level the playing field" for those that had not been able nor allowed to reach their potential as human beings because of years of racial discrimination. "Affirmative Action" was a response to segregated school systems that graduated folks unable to compete in the employment market place and limited employment opportunities due to racist employment policies. We are now two generations further down the road. I'm trying to understand why some folks that argue for a color blind society also argue for "Affirmative Action"? Seems to me to be a mutually exclusive argument. "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Dr Martin Luther King, 1966, (http://web66.coled.umn.edu/new/MLK/MLK.html) I do not understand how to reconcile "the color of my skin makes no difference and should not be considered .... with .... but treat me differently because of the color of my skin". I have a friend, Pamela Trudo, (http://www.lawinterview.com/index.html), who shared with me that "once society truly is color blind, then there will be no need for affirmative action". A point well made ... but ... how can this society, my America, become color blind when "affirmative action" grants preferential treatment based on color? Have you considered the possibility that our focus on color is keeping us from becoming color blind? Now, two generations later, isn't "Affirmative Action" a public statement that persons of color should be given preferential treatment, not because they have been denied equal access to societies resources, but because they are persons of color and therefore inferior? Don't have an answer, but do know this: I want my children to be judged by the content of their character and their ABILITIES and accomplishments, not the color of their skin, when they apply for admission to college. I do not believe Dr King would desire .... would demand ... less. Equality presupposes equal treatment and equal opportunities: not that we are equal in our abilities or potential. As individuals, we are all different, not better or worse, just different. I do not believe this difference has anything to do with race: it does have everything to do with character. It has everything to do with accepting responsibility and the consequences of and for the choices you have made.
While discussing the McDonald's Lawsuit Dismissal, (the Fat Kids Thread), my dear friend David Ransin. (http://www.karltimmerman.com/sfigp-s.html) made the incredibly insightful comment that defines our current "zeitgeist": "if the seller has the legal right to sell 'vice' and make a handsome profit, does not the responsibility of injury from the product/sale go along with it?" "Vice" (Century Unabridged Dictionary 1889), ".... The excessive indulgence of passions and appetites which in themselves are innocent, is a vice. ....." . "Vice", (Websters 1913), " ... A moral fault or failing; especially, immoral conduct or habit, as in the indulgence of degrading appetites ...". How do you sell vice? Isn't "vice" a behavior, an "immoral conduct or habit" you chose to engage in, rather than a product? Why should the maker of a product be responsible for an injury resulting from that products "immoral or habitual" use. When did your choice to engage in an "immoral conduct or habit" make you a victim? Isn't this the underlying basis for "tort reform"?: the average citizen's frustration with a court system that APPEARS to allow a financial recovery for self destructive behaviors? Missouri's version of "Tort Reform", SB280, (http://www.senate.state.mo.us/03INFO/bills/SB280.htm ), is obscene, for example, R.S.Mo 537.071 limits damages in all tort actions for "...physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of capacity to enjoy life .... " to $250,000. We have 34 senators, 20 are of the Republican persuasion. 18 of the 20 are cosponsors of SB280. Think it will pass? So much for my faith in "the will of the people". 'Nuff said.
[David's comment, rephrased: "Dude ... make Dell pay if you get caught downloading smut .... after all .... Dell should never have sold you that computer ... because Dell should have known you have a propensity to engage in behaviors which may not be good for you." At what point did we as a society decide to hold the seller of a product that causes injury, if misused, "responsible" for that injury? Isn't that the reasoning behind the McDonald suit? How can an abrogation of our responsibility for the choices we make, by shifting the "guilt or consequences" of those choices, to those who have the legal right to sell those "vices", accept our money and provide us the things we "excessively indulge" in, benefit you, your family, our America? ]
Was sitting here earlier in the week, watching a commercial about "snoring". Husband and wife ... complaining about their partner snoring. Found it interesting: we are on the eve of war, thousands are dying of AIDs in Africa ... thousands are starving to death ... and here ... in my America ... a commercial about curing "snoring"? Wonder how many folks in my America are looking for a safe place to sleep tonight? Wonder how many are laying on the ground, hungry, cold, just trying to make it through another night? Maybe not worried about snoring. I wonder. Thought, in the morning, will send another check to the Kansas City Homeless Mission: a lot of the folks there are VietVets .... that have never come home. I prayed, that maybe, my small contribution can help bring one home. (I prayed, "Lord, please, please, let them all come home!"). Share with me, what "dues" have you paid this week for the privilege of calling yourself an American?
There is no doubt in my mind anymore: we are going to invade Iraq and we will do it alone. Still have not seen any evidence that it will be in self defense. Guess, other than the British, neither has the rest of the world. The thought, the possibility, that our men and women in uniform will be put in harms way to ensure cheap gasoline for my SUV, sickens me. Remember the "Gulf of Tonkin Resolution": justification for action against North Vietnam? Do empty warheads justify invading Iraq? Wish I knew.
Have the fireplace going, all three furnaces are cranking out heat .. and even though I've been down with the flu all week ... things are well at Ft Timmerman. (Just got up and poured myself a snifter of BBB ... couldn't edit these Ramblings with out it!! :) Susan has reached the conclusion that I'm not a pleasant sick person. Must admit: I'm not. Good thing she loves me :) Finishing off these Ramblings ... will sip a little BBB .. log on to the #SFIG and chat with whomever is there for a bit ..... then go to bed. Will hold my Susan as we drift off to sleep, (will also schnortzle all over her shoulder ... being sick sucks!!) .... and join Ron Byers in a prayer for our men and women in uniform. Let us all send a prayer or best wishes for their safe return home.
As always, if my post offends, I apologize .... like Vivek ... that is not my intent.
Karl (the dumb ole country lawyer from Holden, Missouri.)