Karl H. Timmerman M.A.J.D. 2004
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FEBRUARY 6, 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 - 2004.  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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September 11, 2001
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Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of February 6, 2004.  Been monitoring the "Avian Flu" outbreaks in South East AsiaType "A" Influenza virus, (the type that infects humans), can be hosted by several species,  usually mammals like pigs, horses, seals and whales. "Influenza A viruses can be divided into subtypes on the basis of their surface proteins hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). There are 15 known H subtypes. While all subtypes can be found in birds, only 3 subtypes of HA (H1, H2 and H3) and two subtypes of NA (N1 and N2) are known to have circulated widely in humans."  The varieties that are hosted primarily by wild birds are called "Avian Influenza"(H5N1).  They do not seem to harm wild birds but ARE  fatal to chickens.  Historically, human infection by "Avian Influenza" is extremely rare, (requiring contact with an infected bird), with the most notable human infection occurring in Hong Kong in 1997, resulting in the destruction of 1.5 million chickens and the hospitalization of 18 persons, with 6 of those persons dying.  The outbreak in Vietnam is particularly alarming because it may be the first reported human to human infection, (apparently a boy infected his two sisters, all three children died), of  "Avian Flu".  The World Health Organization, (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control, (CDC), both conduct extensive surveillance programs to monitor the occurrence of influenza activity worldwide,  because of a "Pandemic Flu Risk".  They report outbreaks in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong (in a single peregrine falcon), Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam, (with confirmed deaths in Vietnam, China and Cambodia).  This strain of "Avian Flu" is particularly virulent and if this strain can human to human transmit, (the evidence now suggests that it can), as a species, we could be in trouble.  Flu pandemics are a real threat:    "1918-19, "Spanish flu," [A (H1N1)], caused the highest number of known flu deaths: more than 500,000 people died in the United States, and 20 million to 50 million people may have died worldwide."  .... "1957-58, "Asian flu," [A (H2N2)], caused about 70,000 deaths in the United States. First identified in China in late February 1957, the Asian flu spread to the United States by June 1957."  ....  "1968-69, "Hong Kong flu," [A (H3N2)], caused approximately 34,000 deaths in the United States. This virus was first detected in Hong Kong in early 1968 and spread to the United States later that year. Type A (H3N2) viruses still circulate today."  As a species and as individuals, we have encountered the flu bug many times:  as a result, we have primed immune systems that can fight off  current flu bugs due to these prior contacts.  On the other hand, the "Avian Flu" bug is totally different:  our immune systems are unarmed. If a person contacts H5N1 and is already infected with one of the "normal" bugs, the two could recombine, resulting in a "superbug".  The 1918 Spanish Flu  had a mortality rate of 1.1% and killed more folks in one year than 4 years of the Black Plague.  In our first recorded encounter with "Avian Flu" in 1997, the kill rate was 33%.  Think about it:  33% and there is no "flu shot".  There will be no "flu shot" until we develop new technology  to produce it because this bug kills the fertilized chicken eggs that are used to produce the vaccine.   Be worried, (on the news this evening, 18 persons have now been confirmed H5N1 infected  ...  11 have died ... with this strain, the kill rate is 61%).

Intimacy, being intimate, is probably the most important part of any human "
pair bond" relationship.  The best part of being human.  The ability to "let your hair down", be who you are and be loved, accepted and respected, in spite of your short comings, (no pun intended).  Sexual intimacy is a SMALL part of that.  A very SMALL, but important part.  "Erectile dysfunction", formerly called "impotence", (not to be confused with "erectile importance", one being a malady of older folks and the latter being a malady of teenagers)  has resulted in many clinical studies and the development of drugs to deal with this condition.  There are currently 3 drugs available to assist in keeping a stiff resolve:  "Cialis",  "Levitra" and "Viagra".   "Cialis", the latest "aid" approved by the FDA, according to the manufacturer, has an "active window" of  36 hours,  (I believe the "clinical trials" were conducted on rabbits).  Sounds like the only thing more effective ... longer lasting ....   is rigor mortis. Through the miracles of modern science, this pill finally proves the "Theory of Relativity":   a romantic evening can indeed  ....  last 36 hours.

Was shocked to learn that "
Slavery" still exists in this world: is actually on the increase!!! It doesn't just exist in the back waters of Africa.  It exists here in my America.  "According to CIA estimates, over 100,000 people are enslaved in the U.S. today. These victims (typically from the third world) are trafficked to locations across the country to work as domestic, sex, factory, or agricultural slaves.  ...  Slavery in the U.S. varies from case to case. Slaves have been discovered as farm workers (in South Carolina's peach-picking industry, for instance), domestic maids, street peddlers, sweatshop workers, and prostitutes  ...  There is no "typical" slave holder. Lawyers, diplomats, landlords, pharmacists, child welfare workers, and teachers have all been prosecuted for involuntary servitude."   "The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000" makes it a crime and imposes a penalty  of a fine not to exceed $50,000.00 and/or a prison sentence not to exceed 10 years.  Although the 13th Amendment   outlawed owning slaves, it was not a crime to "traffic" in slaves until 2000.  It has become enough of a problem, that the FBI has created a task force.  To me, purchasing a "restavecs" as a "domestic slave" warrants more than a 10 year sanction, a $50,000.00 fine. The only just punishment, is being stripped of your US citizenship, stripped of your assets and being deported to the country of origin, of the person you purchased: made to walk in their shoes.  'Nuff said. 

Like you, Susan and I last Sunday evening watched the opening ceremonies for the "Superbowl".  Susan and I stood when our
National Anthem  was played, (we always do ... and always will).  Standing there holding hands we watched a live feed from Iraq ... and saw our men and women in uniform ...  also standing.  (I was reminded, once again, the best there is, is on watch, so you and I may sleep safely in our homes tonight.)  Strange, Toby Keith  was deemed too controversial for the "half time" show.  Instead of "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue", we got a bunch of crotch fondling,  RAP ... and Janet Jackson's boob,  Don't get me wrong ... I'm male and appreciate the female form ...  but geez .... a nipple covered by something that looks like a Ninja Star, a weapon?  About as entertaining as French kissing a razor blade .... and that's me ... hate to think about the reaction of folks watching with their children. It was explained as a "costume malfunction".  You know  ....  I don't think most folks buy their underwear from their local blacksmith,  (or maybe, now  ..... hehehe ....  we all know one of "Victoria's Secrets" :)

Finally stopped snowing, (we got 9 inches).  I went out earlier and took a couple of pictures around Holden, (
Holden Snow Scenes).  The Panasonic DMC FZ10K is a remarkable camera. 'Nuff said.

Sitting here watching Susan giving "
Belle",  one of the Yorkies,  a bath, sipping on some BBB and editing these Ramblings.   The fireplace is blowing out heat ... it is warm and cozy at Ft. Timmerman.  All is well.  Read my dear Lady friend, Susan D's post about being a single parent ... a tribute to her father.  He, like my father, like my dear friend Hermann E''s father, set THE example for us:  not,  do as I say ... but do as I do.  For them "I do" meant "I will".  They have taught us, that the "moral high ground" affords the best view.  A lesson, like you,  I try to share with "puppy sharks", (in my case, along with a warm brotherly hug).  We have the benefit of having worthy role models:  the least we can do to honor them  ....  is BE a worthy role model for those, who perhaps, have none.  (Thank You, Dad ... and a Thank You to Susan's Dad and to Hermann's Dad).   Susan and I are still learning how to tweak her insulin pump:  it will take 6 months.  She does not want to go to the Conference this year ... I have no desire to go without her, (not to mention, I don't feel comfortable leaving her alone overnight), so I will not attend.  I will miss hugging those I consider "family".  Perhaps next year.  As I close these Ramblings, I remember standing and holding hands with Susan last Sunday evening and watching our men and women in uniform  ...  also standing, hand over heart.  As I say a prayer for their safe return, later this evening, (Please, please, please, God .... let them come home safe and soon), I will curl around the most beautiful women I know and the best partner a man can have.  Tonight, like every night, I will voice a prayer for Susan and I, our America .... and for you.  Be and sleep well knowing .... that 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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