Karl H. Timmerman M.A.J.D. 2004
All Rights Reserved

MAY 14, 2004

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 - 2004. 
Archived Prior
In Memorium:
September 11, 2001
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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
To post a "comment" to the "Comments Page"
Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of  May 14, 2004.  I guess it's human nature to take things for granted, the natural beauty surrounding us, our health, the love of our partners and friends  ...  our way of life:
"They took all the trees
And put them in a tree museum
And they charged all the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot".

Joni Mitchell.

"You don't know what you got till it's gone" ... the world changed on 9/11 ... looking back now, I don't think we really appreciated what we had.  45 days after 9/11, with virtually no debate, Congress passed the
Patriot Act.  In the name of "national security" we allowed our elected representatives to "pave paradise and put up a parking lot".  " ...  without a warrant and without probable cause, the FBI now has the power to access your most private medical records, your library records, and your student records... and can prevent anyone from telling you it was done".  Attorney General Ashcroft is pushing for Patriot Act II, (Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003), which would further erode the civil rights we take for granted.  Make the time and take a good look around ... so you'll know what you had ... when it's gone.  I'm sure the Germans wished they had ... in 1939.

On the Tuesday evening news, portions of a video, (I have a copy and a link to the video:  I will not post the video nor the link.  If you wish to view it, contact me privately),  of an American civilian, Nick Berg, being beheaded in Iraq ... supposedly in retaliation for Iraqi prisoners being "humiliated".  I remember 
Daniel Pearl being murdered in Pakistan but I don't remember what that was in retaliation for.  I remember a kidnapped American missionary being murdered in the Philippines by Abu Sayyaf: I don't remember what that was in retaliation for.  I remember 3,000 men women and children being murdered on 9/11:  I don't remember what that was in retaliation for either. I do remember Al-Qaeda is not a political movement, not an "army" sanctioned by some State, (although tolerated by some) ... it really isn't an organization ... it is a loose knit group of individual, multi-national, radical, Islamic Militants, willing to kill anyone who isn't, including fellow Muslims, (and they have), to create a fundamentalist Islamic society. They have declared "jihad", (total/holy war) against all that oppose them. This past week I learned a lesson in "perspective", (I was feeling really bad about having a compression fracture of my heel ... being in a wheelchair and on crutches for 12 weeks ... when on Wednesday, I was told a dear Lady friend had been diagnosed with Leukemia and was not expected to live.)  Perspective.  So, on the one hand you have folks made to feel bad, "humiliated", (50 or 100 of the worst of the worst, in order to get information from them about who is killing folks, including our men and women in uniform)  ... and on the other,  folks killing whomever they wish, including innocent civilians, in living color. Doesn't it beg the ultimate "perspective" question: "Do the ends justify the means?" Suppose, sitting in front of you is a person that knows .... how, who, when and where, he and his cohorts have planned a chemical weapon attack that will kill thousands of innocent persons, (or some poor putz who has planted a roadside bomb which may or may not kill someone.)  In order to "extract" that information from him, what is morally acceptable? Is there a morally acceptable difference in the "means" used, between getting information from the putz and the mass murderer? Isn't it readily apparent that reasonable, honorable persons can differ on what is morally acceptable and what is not?  What constitutes "torture" or "humiliation"?  I might add, that if I were Iraqi,  I sure would NOT be invoking the Geneva Convention, Convention IV, Article 64 states: "The penal laws of the occupied territory shall remain in force, with the exception that they may be repealed or suspended by the Occupying Power in cases where they constitute a threat to its security or an obstacle to the application of the present Convention." I seem to remember Sadam's penal code was a tad repressive, (his view of "humiliation" involved missing body parts ... not missing clothing or sleep deprivation).  For those interested, the "REFERENCE GUIDE TO THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS", makes interesting reading! For example, on the issue of "terrorism": "The penal provisions promulgated by the Occupying Power in accordance with Articles 64 and 65 may impose the death penalty against a protected person only in cases where the person is guilty of espionage, of serious acts of sabotage against the military installations of the Occupying Power or of intentional offences which have caused the death of one or more persons, provided that such offences were punishable by death under the law of the occupied territory in force before the occupation began." Geneva Convention, Convention IV, Article 68.   I believe Sadam may have been a staunch supporter of the death penalty. I don't have an answer to the questions posed here  ...  like you, only an opinion subject to change as I learn more.   I would encourage you to read an article by Mark Bowden:   a "must read"  ...  "The Dark Art of Interrogation", "The most effective way to gather intelligence and thwart terrorism can also be a direct route into morally repugnant terrain. A survey of the landscape of persuasion".  'Nuff said.

Sitting here sipping on some Tawny Port, (no BBB until I'm off crutches ... geez ... can you picture how badly I could hurt myself navigating with crutches after sucking on some BBB!?), editing these Ramblings and thinking about Nick Bergs murder and my Friend dying from Leukemia:  "Perspective".  On the evening news, on the streets of Iraq ...  protesters in open political dissent, from all accounts ... with no fear of retaliation.  In Najaf, our troops finally doing what they are trained to do:  fight. At home, here in America ... folks shuffling around ... doing their best ... to be politically/world opinion correct.  So share with me ... what changes have "world opinion" made?  Did "world opinion" make a change in Cambodia? What did "world opinion" do in the Balkins?  What is "world opinion" doing about the genocide in Africa?  What is "world opinion" doing about the death of millions from AIDs?  Nothing.  And here, now, we have my America, making a change, making a difference in the lives of everyday Iraqi folks ... hehehe ... making sure they can protest and bitch, (just like Americans!)  Changes, because of security concerns, made way too slowly.  And a marriage in Denmark, a royal wedding:  Prince Frederik has
married a 32-year-old Australian businesswoman,  Mary Donaldson !  Good to know sap also rises in Denmark.

I write these Ramblings for you to read ... and perhaps, make you smile and perhaps cause you to take a moment and think about the issues raised. I write about many things but will always have two important themes:  how much I love, cherish and respect my Susan and how grateful I am to our men and women in uniform for the sacrifice they are making, (and a prayer for their safe return ... "Please, God, let them come home safe and soon").  Tonight, I pray you think about "perspective" and what you take for granted, (and pray you will NOT find it gone).  I also pray you find yourself falling asleep HEALTHY, safe and next to the person you most cherish ... 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).