MARCH 4, 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 - 2005. 

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
  01-28-05  02-04-05  02-11-05
  02-18-05  02-25-05  03-04-05
Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of March 4, 2005. What makes a suicide bomber? What makes a person willing to kill themselves with the express intent of killing others? Why ... and for what? During the closing months of WW II, Kamikaze , (also see Japanese Kamikaze), pilots reigned hell on our troops, in the belief that giving their lives, would save the lives of their loved ones. Today, in Iraq and Israel ... folks strap C4 to their bodies or stuff a vehicle full of high explosives and blow themselves up. Israeli intelligence has compiled some statistics 47% of suicide bombers have an academic education and an additional 29% have at least a high school education; 83% of suicide bombers are single; 64% of suicide bombers are between the ages 18-23; most of the rest are under 30 and 68% of suicide bombers come from the Gaza Strip. "The bombers believe they are sent on their missions by God, and by the time they're ready to be strapped with explosives, say the sources, they have reached a hypnotic state. Their rationale that by blowing themselves up in a crowd of Israelis, they are forging their own gateway to heaven." Yet, "Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al Sheik, the supreme religious leader of Saudi Arabia, issued a fatwa (religious edict) in April that equated suicide bombings with suicide, which therefore is not allowed in Islam." ... and ... "Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, a leading doctrinal authority in the Sunni Muslim world, wrote in Egypt's Al Ahram that "if a person blows himself up, as in operations that Palestinian youths carry out against those they are fighting, then he is a martyr. But if he explodes himself among babies or women or old people who are not fighting the war, then he is not considered a martyr." I don't believe religious fervor motivates Iraqi suicide bombers, instead I would have to agree with Mouin Rabbani, director of the Palestinian American Research Center, (PARC), in Ramallah in his analysis "Without exception, the suicide bombers have lived their lives on the receiving end of a system designed to trample their rights and crush every hope of a brighter future… Confronted by a seemingly endless combination of death, destruction, restriction, harassment and humiliation, they conclude that ending life as a bomb - rather than having it ended by a bullet - endows them, even if only in their final moments, with a semblance of purpose and control previously considered out of reach." Young men who believe they have a future, have a say in that future, don't kill themselves. Elections last month went a long way toward empowering ordinary Iraqis and Palestinians .... and up coming elections in Saudi Arabia and Egypt will do the same ... as will Syria moving their troops out of Lebanon, after a populist Lebanese uprising. Changes made by ordinary people. I don't agree with many things our President says but I do agree ... the greatest catalyst for change is the human desire/need for freedom and liberty. Can we be seeing the beginnings of peace in that region? Seems like something worth praying for.

On 60 Minutes, Wednesday ... crystal methamphetamine "According to the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 12.4 million Americans age 12 and older had tried methamphetamine at least once in their lifetimes (5.3 percent of the population), with the majority of past-year users between 18 and 34 years of age ... 46 percent of the 15,676 methamphetamine lab incidents were reported in 9 sites located in middle America Missouri (2,788), Iowa (862), Kansas (763), Oklahoma (595), Tennessee (560), Illinois (551), Arkansas (398), Kentucky (372), and Nebraska (272)." "Meth" is bad stuff it releases high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which stimulates brain cells, enhancing mood and body movement, (it is generally believed that "dopamine presumably evolved to mediate the reinforcing effects of natural rewards, such as food, water and sex."), and in the process, it damages brain cells that contain dopamine and serotonin, resulting, over time, in reduced levels of dopamine, causing symptoms like those of Parkinson's disease, (tremors, rigid movements, difficulty initiating movements). Decreased levels of serotonin also has an effect "Studies show that low levels of the brain chemical serotonin can in part lead to an overall insensitivity to future consequences, setting off impulsive and aggressive behaviors ... " You become a skinny, spastic, paranoid schizophrenic with a horrible complexion and rotted teeth. Meth is easy enough to "cook", (although the chemicals involved are highly toxic and dangerous to work with). One recipe calls for "Over-the-counter cold and asthma medications containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, red phosphorous, hydrochloric acid, anhydrous ammonia, drain cleaner, battery acid, lye, lantern fuel, and antifreeze". Each pound of Meth results in 5 to 6 pounds of highly toxic chlorinated solvents and other toxic by-products that can persist in soil and groundwater for years. Cleanup costs are exorbitant because solvent-contaminated soil usually must be incinerated. Since street Meth contains approximately 2% methamphetamine, think of what the other 98% consists of!! The bad news? The average methamphetamine "cook" annually teaches ten other people how to make the drug and the recidivism rate for Meth is over 90%.

In news from National Geographic, day before yesterday, Bubba, the 22-pound (10-kilogram) lobster, "... had his sentence commuted by Bob Wholey, owner of Wholey's seafood market in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Caught between the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, [PETA] and the People for Eating Tasty Animals, [PETA], Wholey decided to send the crotchety crustacean (estimated to be at least 50 years old) to a peaceful retirement in an aquarium at the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina" ... And today ... the shocking news "Bubba the lobster died yesterday in an aquarium at the Pittsburgh Zoo. At the zoo he was being examined to determine whether he was fit enough for the trip to the South Carolina museum that was to be his new home. The cause of death is not yet known, but Bob Wholey has suggested that the stress of the journey from his seafood market to the zoo is to blame." I was surprised to learn that the Pittsburgh Zoo is only one of 6 zoos in the US to house a major aquarium a 45,000 -square- foot, state-of-the-art, $17.4 million facility, with 380,000 gallons of salt and fresh water aquatic exhibits. (Rumor is .... that, it also houses one of the finest Sushi bars on the East Coast.) Foul play is suspected in "Bubba's" demise he arrived at the zoo, bright red, with a strange butter/garlic odor.

Phill Kline, Kansas's Attorney General " ... is demanding abortion clinics turn over the complete medical records of nearly 90 women and girls, saying he needs the material for an investigation into underage sex and illegal late-term abortions." The age of consent in Kansas is 16 .... but guess what? In Kansas and Massachusetts, with parental consent, you can get married at 12, (in New Hampshire, 13 and in Alabama and South Carolina, 14 .... and Mississippi and California have NO minimum age). [Click HERE for a link to a page outlining the "age of consent" for most countries around the world and HERE for the marriage consent age, in the United States.] Islam sanctions marriage at 9. So share with me why the Attorney General for the State of Kansas is up in arms about abortion ... yet, apparently could give a damn about 12 year old children getting married? It is Ok to click your heels, Toto, (the mental little people are still in charge).

In news from "Nature" A recorder player has fascinated neuroscientists with her ability to taste differences in the intervals between notes. "Synaesthete" ... refers to a person who has some kind of cross-wiring in the brain, so that things which ought to be perceived by one sense are instead felt in another." It is a form of "video-rectitus" .... a condition where the nerve in your eye and the nerve in your butt get crossed .... so everything you look at ... turns to poop!! Experienced it today ... I watched the price of gas here in Holden ... go up to $2.29 per gallon.

Sitting here editing there Ramblings, sipping on some Port, watching the evening news and thinking about the "age of consent" to marry. In many parts of the world, (Muslim countries), girls are married off at their first menarche ... the age of onset has decreased from age 17 in the 1830's to age 13, now. Just what does a 13 year old "child bride" bring into a marriage ... other than her dolls? On the evening news opium poppy crops in Afghanistan have almost doubled, (up to 4,950 tons from 3,650). Half of Afghanistan's economy is now based on the opium trade. Guess the war on drugs has been superceded by the war on terrorism. Congress will allow the slaughter of 8,000 wild horses on public land don't want them to compete with the cattle grazing there. Do we want wild horses on our public land ... or have ranchers grazing their cattle and sheep? (The ranchers have "sweetheart" leases ... no lobbyists for horses.) In other news, the DOW and S&P 500 hit their best levels in 3 1/2 years. Here, in Holden, we hit 70 degrees today. Tomorrow, Susan and I will start cleaning out the garden ... we will plant string beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and yellow squash again this year. The grape vines need to be trimmed as do the apple trees. We work well together ... one of the many reasons, that life is good!! ) As I drift off to sleep tonight, holding the best partner a man can have ... I will whisper a prayer of thanks, a prayer for you and for our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?) .... <whispering> .... Please, Please, Please, God ... let them come home safe and soon. Be and sleep well, knowing 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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