Karl H. Timmerman M.A.J.D. © 2004
All Rights Reserved
A MISSOURI LAWYER'S
FRIDAY NIGHT RAMBLINGS
to the
Missouri Solo and Small Firm Internet Group
"the List"

JANUARY 30, 2004

The "Ramblings" are a series of emails sent, for the most part, on Friday night, to the Missouri Solo and Small Firm Internet Group, ("the List"),  listserve.    "The List" is a "support" group, a virtual "family", comprised of Missouri Solo and Small Firm Lawyers. It is not affiliated with the Missouri Bar Association: "the List"  is self governing and self moderating. Compiled here are the Ramblings for 2002 - 2003.  They contain my random thoughts and observations on current events and my life as a Solo Lawyer. They are the Ramblings of a small town, (Holden, population 2,700), Missouri, country lawyer.
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In Memorium:
September 11, 2001
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Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of  January 30, 2004.  Brian Barnard, a civil rights attorney, [in Salt Lake City, Utah,] has brought a lawsuit challenging Utah's ban on polygamy. The lawsuit "involves a married couple, identified only as G. Lee Cook and D. Cook, and a woman, J. Bronson, who wanted to enter into a plural marriage but were denied a marriage license by Salt Lake County clerks".  The lawsuit claims the county violated the plaintiffs' right to privacy with regard to intimate matters and trampled on their First Amendment right to religious freedom, after refusing to issue a marriage license to a man who was already married to one women.  In June of last year, our Supreme Court, in Lawrence v. Texas,  struck down Texas sodomy laws, (expanding Griswold v. Connecticut's "penumbra right to privacy", to include private sexual relationships).   In Lawrence, supra, Justice Scaglia dissented ..... writing this:  "State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision ..." In a prior Ramblings, I shared my views about Lawrence.  Polygamy?  In an individual context, from a purely biological standpoint, for a complex organism, where offspring require years of care and learning, polygamy makes no sense.  Polyandry does.  Think about it .... multiple males, (out there scouting/hunting for dead stuff to eat),  one female gathering kibbles and twigs, all working together to raise a child).  Seems to work rather well in Tibet.   Course, what we have now institutionalized by "marriage",   serial monogamy, (one male, one female, until they move on to their respective next partner)  .... geez .... is the best survival strategy for a kid?  That's a "theoretical" perspective.  In "real life", women living together have their menstrual cycles synchronize, (each having their menses at the same time).    What kind of male fool  would want to be around a bunch of females enduring PMS and bitching about cramps?  Monogamy works, because, from  a male perspective, it is alot easier to ignore one bitching female than two or more.  Polyandry works because one of the other husbands can listen to her bitch.  How's that for an "insight"?

Then there's the 3 gay couples, each licensed foster parents, in Florida, who wanted to  adopt the children, that had been in their foster care for YEARS.  Lofton, et. al. vs.   Secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services , 11th Circuit US Court of Appeals, (January 28, 2004). Interestingly enough, if you are gay, you can be a foster parent and you can also be a "legal guardian" in Florida. At the same time, Florida has a statute which bars gay couples from adopting children.   Florida law permits single heterosexual folks to adopt children but not homosexual folks. To side step a "compelling State interest test", the Court in Lofton wrote: "Lawrence’s holding was that substantive due process does not permit a state to impose a criminal prohibition on private consensual homosexual conduct. The effect of this holding was to establish a greater respect than previously existed in the law for the right of consenting adults to engage in private sexual conduct ...  nowhere does the Court’s opinion declare that homosexual sodomy is a ‘fundamental right’ under the Due Process Clause”.  I would certainly agree that heterosexual sodomy and homosexual sodomy are not  fundamental rights .... but "privacy" is.  I'm still trying to understand the "rational basis" for allowing gay couples to be foster parents or guardians but not adopt the children they have provided, in some instances ... for years,  a home for.  Guess the 3,000 plus children in foster care in Florida will just have to continue to live in the uncertainty of foster care, (some with homosexuals).  Makes a lot of sense doesn't it?  hmmmm .... aren't these the same folks who lacked the intellectual horsepower to punch a Presidential Ballot?

Kansas restored the death penalty in 1994. Since 1994, 7 persons have been sentenced to death.  All of their cases are still in litigation:  in none of the cases has an execution date been set.  In a report in todays Kansas City Star, the median cost, (to date in Kansas), in a Death Penalty case, is $1.2 million dollars versus $740,000.00 in a non death penalty case, (including keeping a person in prison for life).  According to the 
Death Penalty Information Center, Texas spends $2.3 million, Florida spends $3.2 million and North Carolina spends $2.16 million, per case. The EXTRA cost of capital cases since 1982, nationwide is $1.6 BILLION more than in non capital cases, (National Bureau of Economic Research). Aside from the moral/ethical issues,  is the "Death Penalty" really worth it?

On the evening News on Wednesday, watched some members of the 82nd Airborne "come back to the world" from Iraq.  Made my heart sing to see them home, welcomed home .... not just by their families ... but also, by plain folks, like you and I, (praying for their safe return), glad to see them back.  They will have a couple of mandatory weeks of individual counseling, (to avoid
post traumatic stress syndrome) to help them adjust. Then 30 days leave .... then back to training for their next mission.  Unlike Viet Vets,  they ARE coming home to a grateful America.  Too many of our Viet Vets call homeless shelters "home", (they comprise 1/3 of homeless folks)  ... too many ... have been unable to put the past behind them.  A modest proposal .... know a Viet Vet?  Shake their hands .... look them in the eye, say "Thank You" ....  and take the time to welcome him/her home. 'Nuff said.

Susan and I went grocery shopping today to stockpile stuff because we have another ice/snow storm due to hit tomorrow, (calling for 10 plus inches of snow).  Loaded in a bunch of firewood.  Bought extra batteries and kerosine in case of a power failure.  We are prepared.  After totalling two vehicles, one in 1999 and one in 2000, we now have a saying at Ft Timmerman:  "If there's snow ... we don't go".  Is it really worth risking life and limb to make a "docket call"?  Driving a two lane, winding country road, in adverse winter weather is not worth the risk.  I FAX a "Motion for Continuance Due To Inclement Weather" to the court. 'Nuff said.

Sitting here watching the evening news, editing these Ramblings and thinking about the children sucked into Florida's foster care system ... over 3,000 ... unwanted ... by traditional Mom and Dad families.  The weakest and most needing of us, some HIV positive.  How could any rational human being argue that the very persons, who have opened their homes to these children, have given them a place to call home, have nursed and cared for them, have given them love and the necessities of life, in some instances, saved their life  ...  foster parents, LICENSED BY THE STATE to do so  ...  as a matter of law, are unfit to be parents because they are gay?  The God I worship, is the God of love and tolerance, neither male nor female but the beginning and the end of all things, good and bad, who encourages, wants, a personal relationship with me.  Who knows me, loves me and accepts my far too many shortcomings.  Life Lesson for Puppy Sharks:  "The very best thing about taking the moral high ground ...  is the view".  Susan, (the most wonderful partner a man can have), is learning how to use the insulin pump, (as am I).  All is well at Ft Timmerman and tonight, as I drift off to sleep, warm and snuggled up close to Susan ... I will say a prayer for our men and women in uniform, (Please, please, please Lord  ...  let them come home safe and soon!!!), for my America, for Susan and I .... and you.  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.
A Warm Brotherly Hug
Karl (the dumb ole country lawyer from Holden, Missouri)
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