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"

FEBRUARY 27, 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.
Click Here For
In Memorium:
September 11, 2001
Click Here For
Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of February 27, 2004.   From last Saturdays Kansas City Star, "Health officials are encouraging hundreds of workers and visitors of a downtown office building to get tested for tuberculosis  after an infectious person spent time there ... The Health Department will provide a free, nine-month course of antibiotics that virtually eliminates the infection to anyone testing positive for TB."  TB is an air born bacterial infection, (Mycobacterium Tuberculosis) and used to be the leading cause of death in our America.  In the 1940's,  the development of antibiotics almost wiped the disease out but it has made a comeback.  More than 16,000 cases were reported in the US in 2000 and the World Health Organization estimates that up to 50 million folks worldwide may be infected with drug resistant strains.  Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) is a form of tuberculosis that is resistant to two or more of the primary drugs, (isoniazid  and rifampin),  used for TB treatment. Recent MDR TB outbreaks have been characterized by mortality rates  of 50-80% and a duration of only 4-16 weeks from the time of diagnosis to the time of death, (keep in mind, there are 50 million folks infected world wide). Think if I had an office at 1125 Grand Avenue, (the Home Savings Building), I'd be getting tested!

On Tuesday, our President called for a
Constitutional Amendment  defining "marriage" as only legally possible between a man and a woman. " FEDERAL MARRIAGE AMENDMENT (H.J.Res. 56):  "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."    .......... "The only question is whether the constitutional status of marriage will be determined by unelected judges or the American people."    Interesting.  There are only two ways  to amend our Constitution:  a bill must pass both our Congress and our Senate by a two-thirds majority in each and it must then be approved by three-quarters of all States.  "Unelected judges" or "the American People"?  hmmmm ... so, (as of 1996), less than 49% of eligible Americans voters, register to vote, (national Presidential elections, far less for local elections).  Got bad news .... less than 50% of those registered voters, vote.  Guess that means the "will of the people" is in reality 51% of the will of 25% of us who voted for them. So, we can amend our Constitution based on two-thirds of  25%:  16.5% of us.  Put another way:  16.5% of us can dictate what is "moral" for the other 83.5% of us, by amending our Constitution?  Makes me sleep well tonight.  The good news:  the folks who wish to IMPOSE their morals on us in the name of God and  save our souls, remain a minority in my America.  The bad news:  public office seems to attract them.

Here's another reason to get your weight under control, (
My Diet).  "In one of the largest studies of weight and breast cancer to date, researchers said older women who gained 20 to 30 pounds after high school graduation were 40 percent more likely to get breast cancer  than women who kept the weight off." MSNBC  Seems fat cells produce estrogen:  the fatter you are, the greater your estrogen levels. Wonder if that is why fat men have boobs??    I see the phrase "XX% more likely" alot. Doesn't it make you  wonder ....  "XX% more likely" than who? Or what?  Wonder .....  if it includes women who kept the weight off by smoking? .....  large healthy lungs?  On a positive note, the FDA approved the first in a new class of anti-cancer drugs:  "Avistin", "The first drug that promises to attack cancer by choking off its blood supply won federal [FDA] approval Thursday.", (in combination with chemotherapy, it was approved as a treatment for colon cancer.) Not so promising:  the cost for a 30 day treatment is expected to be $4,400.00.  I wonder how many folks can afford it?  'Nuff said.

"
The Passion of the Christ" ... was released this week to mixed reviews, (some folks loved it ... some folks hated it).  The movie portrays the last 12 hours of Jesus's life:  a graphic study of his horrendous suffering.  I have never been fond of movies with sub-titles, (all dialect is in aramaic  and latin), so,  I don't plan on seeing it.  I don't celebrate Christ's suffering:  I celebrate the sacrifice ... His victory over evil and death.  For me, He is very much alive today.  There is some concern by Jewish folks, that after seeing the movie, some folks will see Jews as "Christ Killers":  become anti-semitic.  No doubt, some will:  in spite of His sacrifice, ignorance and evil will continue to exist.  That is why we have a personal duty, a personal obligation to stand up, hold our ground and confront it. I remain convinced, the vast majority of folks do, not because of religious conviction/belief but because as human beings, created in the image of God,  we know it is the right thing to do.

Sitting here at Ft Timmerman editing these Ramblings while watching the evening news, (a good snifter of BBB close at hand).  I'm trying to understand ....  why it is so important that the legal definition of  "marriage" be limited to "the union of a man and a woman"?  Marriage is a legal status with very real economic benefits.  How else could you have "
tenancy by the entireties" asset protection?  Social Security survivors benefits? An "insurable interest", (like in health and life insurance)?  Make medical decisions and visit an infirmed partner in the hospital, (without the necessity of a Durable Medical Power of Attorney)? Filing a "Joint Income Tax Return" ....  ad nauseam.  What harm would it cause those folks who believe that marriage is "the union of a man and a woman", yet cause irreparable harm to those that don't?  If the foundation of any society is "family,  isn't love, respect and commitment,  the corner stone of "family"?  Not the plumbing of the parties?  But for the "sin" of homosexuality, share with me how the State sanctioning "same sex marriage/civil contracts", two persons contracting a civil commitment to each other,  has ANY detrimental effect?   What is the real fear? That more than 6 out of 10 marriages end in divorce?  That more than 67% of our children wind up in single parent households? That the State of Florida bans adoption by gay couples while the same gay couples are LICENSED STATE foster parents?

I will take
Zelda  for a walk tomorrow and start cleaning up the winter debris in the garden, even trim the apple trees and grape vines.  Susan is in her office, learning "HTML", (Hyper Text Mark Up Language, the language in which web pages are programmed)  ....    she is catching a cold ... not feeling well.  Bothers me when she is feeling sick.  Want to do everything to make her feel better, (would crawl on my bare stomach, over broken beer bottles to see her smile).  Wonder how this will affect the dosage from her insulin pump? There are so many variables in life: what for me remains constant is the love I have for this woman, (and the love I know my God has for both of us, and for you).  As I always do, tonight, as I lay curled around the most wonderful partner a man can have and drift off to sleep .... I will say a prayer for Susan and I, our men and women in uniform, (please, please, please, God ... let them come home safe and soon), my America  ... and you.  Be and sleep well, this Friday evening, holding, (I hope), the person who makes your life worth living, knowing the best there is, is on watch, (and wishing they could hold their loved one).  If my post offends, I apologize ... that is not my intent.
A Warm Brotherly Hug
Karl (the dumb ole country lawyer from Holden, Missiouri)
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