A MISSOURI LAWYER'S
FRIDAY NIGHT RAMBLINGS


FOR

APRIL 8, 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
CLICK ON A DATE

In Memorium:
September 11, 2001

                   2002
  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
  12-27-02

                       2003
  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
  12-26-03 

                      2004
  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
 
                   2005
  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
  03-11-05  03-18-05  03-25-05
  04-02-05  04-08-05
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of April 8, 2005. "FBI Director Robert Mueller on Tuesday asked lawmakers to expand the bureauís ability to obtain records without first asking a judge, and he joined Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in seeking that every temporary provision of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act be renewed." "... without first asking a judge ..." ?? "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." 4th Amendment, US Constitution, emphasis added. (For an overview of cases defining the 4th Amendment ... CLICK HERE) So what part of "no warrants shall issue" is difficult to understand? You better pray there will continue to be "activist judges" willing to enforce the contract we have with our elected representatives, our Constitution, (so far, EVERY challenge to the Patriot Act has resulted in the challenged provision being struck down!!!). As my father opined, (having lived through Nazi Germany) "No one wakes up one morning with a "Concentration Camp" in their back yard. Freedom is lost .... one inch at a time." 'Nuff said.

Several articles this week "Nearly a third of 14-year-olds plan oral sex within six months ≠ and nearly 20 percent say they've already tried oral sex ..." and ... "US teenagers apparently prefer oral sex as a safer and morally more acceptable alternative to intercourse ..." Morally more acceptable?? " .... young teens believe oral sex to be significantly less of a health risk than vaginal sex and that it would be less likely to have negative social and emotional consequences -- such as getting a bad reputation or having feelings of guilt."  So ... a 14 year old believes engaging in oral sex is less harmful to his/her reputation than vaginal intercourse?? Oral sex is less of a health risk?? Where in the world did our children come up with such a belief structure?!!  Such a sick sense of values?? Take a look around. As a society, haven't we trivialized sex to the point where it no longer is the ultimate expression of love between consenting adults ... but instead, a spectator sport, played in our music, printed in our magazines, graphically depicted in our movies, television and advertising? "Desperate Housewives" ring a bell? Haven't we adopted a "Don't Ask ... Don't Tell" attitude, with our children? Look at how families are depicted on television these days:   a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial .... a Dad and children sitting around a table ... asking "Why are we sitting here?" ... "Is this a family meeting ... or something?" ... and Mom walks in, with a tub of KFC chicken ... and announces ... "No .... it's dinner!"   Just when was it we got so busy ... we stopped making time for family, for our children ... got so involved in individual activities ... that we stopped celebrating, enjoying, the union of souls, the greater whole, that comprise a family unit? Aren't we seeing the results of the 80's and early 90's emphasis on "self"? Perhaps the "Me First", "I'm Ok, Your Ok" movements of the 80's have hit a wall called "reality". "Me First" doesn't work in a marriage, (isn't that why 6 out of 10 marriages fail?) "Me First" doesn't work as a child raising strategy either ... it only teaches a child to ignore social norms and convention. Have you considered the possibility that the long haired, hippie, revolutionaries of the 60's and 70's, whose protests caused this nation to swing to the liberal left, have now moved to, embraced, the conservative right, as a knee jerk reaction to current societal hedonism. Haven't they become the very thing they protested against in their youth? Haven't they become their parents? Perhaps they have discovered what our children will, as they mature ... "free love", has never been free ... there is always a price.

Gas prices, per gallon, have reached $2.29 ... and are expected to rise further. My prior feeble attempt at a "wake up call":   from the Ramblings posted the evening of October 1, 2004. "While driving to court this week, I was struck by the number of SUV's and pickup trucks on the road. They didn't look loaded down:   just the driver going to work or running errands. When my "work" vehicle was the Durango, I would have to fill up twice a week, close to $40.00 each time. My Durango averaged 14 miles per gallon). [Note:  I sold my Durango the following week!! ] My Miata, averages 36 miles per gallon. [EarthTrends is a Website that maintains/tracks searchable databases on natural resource consumption by region it, as well as the 2000 Census, is the source of the data I site in these Ramblings] The price of oil hit $50.00 a barrel this week ... the highest it has been in 20 years. Between 1990 and 2000, we had a 12% increase in population, a 16% increase in oil consumption, (while at the same time, having a 17% DECREASE in the number of passenger vehicles per thousand persons) and a 35% increase in the amount of oil we import. Both Bush and Kerry have a plan:  the common denominator, increased oil PRODUCTION. Production!?! How about a focus on oil/energy CONSERVATION or developing alternate energy paradigms? How about giving a tax credit/exemption, for vehicles which are energy efficient, (say, 50+ miles per gallon) and abrogating the tax credit for SUV's? On a side note "International, the operating company of Navistar International Corporation (NYSE NAV) and a leading truck manufacturer, officially unveiled the International CXT on Thursday, Sept. 16, at its plant in Garland, Texas." It is the "tractor" part of an 18 wheeler with a short pickup bed. It gets 7 miles per gallon and a tax credit of $90,000.00 to $130,000.00. There is a waiting list. Park your SUV and believe it or not, with gas prices being what they are, on a monthly basis, the payment for a small "personal" vehicle, a subcompact, (including gas), is less than what you would pay for gas for your SUV:  do the math! If you could save money and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, by parking your SUV and/or using it when you actually NEED the functionality and buying a small "personal" vehicle to make "docket calls" or run errands, why wouldn't you do so?" .... <smiling> .... so share with me ... did you listen? Did you dump your "gas guzzler" and buy a small vehicle to make docket calls and run errands, as I suggested? (Like I did? ) Gas prices will rise over $2.50 per gallon this summer. So .... how much is your pickup truck or SUV worth now ... compared to October of last year? hehehe .... enjoy.

Susan and I, (along with millions of other persons), decided to set our alarm and watch the Pope's funeral this morning. So many, many people, gathered around a simple wooden coffin. This gentle man died owning nothing but some papers, clothes and personal effects, (he directed they be burned). He sired no children ... yet he has children the world over .... who love and respect him ... all called/call him ... "the Holy Father". While he commanded no army to impose his will ... his will was and is imposed ... his teachings about the dignity and worth of persons, (persons created in the image of God), changed lives, changed societies and changed cultures, (Poland). Not with force ... but with the force of gentle moral prodding. I dissent and continue to dissent with many of his beliefs, his interpretation of scripture, his teachings ... but honor his conviction, his life. The face of humanity traveled to Rome .. to be present for his funeral, pay respect, honor, a life that made a difference. I only regret ... I could not be there ... to join the millions ... who could/did.  Like you, I had to settle for quiet reflection about a life well lived ... a worthy example set. As you and I are living ours let us strive to make it a celebration, for others.

In science news published this week in the journal Nature, (by Dr. Francois Mach of Geneva University Hospital in Geneva, Switzerland), "Low doses of the main active ingredient in marijuana slowed the progression of hardening of the arteries in mice, according to a new study." ingenious folks, the Swiss ... who else could teach a mouse to use a bong? Course, the bad news ... the weight gain from getting the "munchies" .... <smiling> ..... ever wonder what stoned mice look like?

Sitting here checking links in these Ramblings while listening to the evening news and sipping on some White Port, (good stuff). The prime news was the Pope's Funeral, millions watching .... a global village, celebrating a global life. It was, (according to the news), the most globally watched event in recorded history. Millions had traveled, were present in Rome, as well as the leaders of most of the worlds nations. Security was tight .... as tight as it could be under the circumstance. But share with me, how could security defend against a suicide bomber? Yet, no terrorist attack today. Why? Respect for the pope ... or, our President winning the war on terrorism? Safe havens in Afghanistan are gone. Saudi Arabia is actively hunting down Al Quida operatives, (not because of love for the US ... but fear for their own safety), Libya has surrendered its weapons programs and Iraq has become the flame that draws every fundamentalist nutcase terrorist in the middle east, (and they are dying there ... instead of Rome or here). We will be attacked again, no doubt .... but there are no safe places left for terrorists to hide, organize, train and plan, on the scale they did before, (perhaps with the exception of the Sudan). Our men and women in uniform are doing what they have been trained to do ... and the vast majority are doing it honorably and well. History will judge, at some point, whether our President was right ... but today, it sure looks like the calls he made ... were good ones.

Tonight, as I drift off to sleep, with the most wonderful partner a man can have curled around me, I will whisper a prayer of thanks ... for being able to do so. I will say a prayer for the members of our little "family" that are sick or have family members who are ... and most important to me ... I will say a prayer/send good wishes for the safe return of 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, 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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