JUNE 3, 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
  03-11-05  03-18-05  03-25-05
  04-02-05  04-08-05  04-15-05
  04-22-05  04-29-05  05-06-05
  05-13-05  05-20-05  05-27-05
Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of June 3, 2005. Good discussion this week on the SFIG, about Kansas City, Missouri adopting a "no smoking ordinance". "The possession of lighted smoking materials in any form, including but not limited to, the possession of lighted cigarettes, cigars, pipes or other tobacco products, is prohibited in all enclosed places of employment within the City ... No one shall possess lighted smoking materials in any form, including but not limited to, lighted cigarettes, cigars, pipes or other tobacco products, in a manner that impedes entrance to or exit from a building where smoking is prohibited pursuant to this section." emphasis added. Interesting. "Smoking" is defined as, "Smoking means inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or other tobacco product." , but there is no definition of "Smoking Materials" ... nor is there a definition of "Tobacco Product". Share with me, what does the phrase, "including but not limited to" mean? Do "smoking materials" include incense? Does it include candles? Wouldn't that effectively close down the celebration of a Catholic Mass? What does "in a manner that impedes entrance to or exit from a building where smoking is prohibited " mean? Does the phrase "unconstitutionally vague" ring a bell? An interesting exercise in "semantics", isn't it?

My Dear Lady Friend, Corinne Corley, (very much in favor of the Ordinance), in one of her posts, asked, "By what standard do we determine how much power we give the government to regulate our conduct, and in what areas that power is to be exercised?" and in answer, wrote a very well reasoned "standard" constitutional analysis ... to paraphrase ... is there a legitimate State interest in "regulating" the consumption of tobacco products? Are the means used, least restrictive? ... is there a minimal collateral impact? And argued that the harmful affects of "second hand smoke" warrant State intrusion. "Second hand smoke" warrants State intrusion? Maybe it does. My Dear Lady Friend, Shelley Bishop pointed out the obvious "fly in the ointment" a few weeks ago statistical correlations, like an analysis of variance, do not equate to causation. "Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause children to develop asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, other respiratory infections, and ear infections. Exposure to secondhand smoke also increase the risk that infants will die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Each year environmental tobacco smoke kills approximately 53,000 Americans ... " And from the National Cancer Institute, "Scientists do not know what amount of exposure to secondhand smoke, if any, is safe." So, how much exposure to second hand smoke, if any, is harmful? I know of no study that proves smoking causes lung cancer but many studies show, from a statistical standpoint, smoking seems to increase the risk. Smoking, like drinking, is a vice, a "sinful indulgence", (like drinking, smoking, gambling, gluttony and lust) ... and all are personal choices, aren't they? Doesn't the State have an interest in regulating them, when, and only when, one person's choice negatively impacts the rights of another? Since second hand smoke does impact the right of another to be smoke free, in a public environment, wouldn't the State have the right to regulate it, if, and only if, the non-smoker has no choice but to be present in that environment? Share with me how that would apply to restaurants or bars? Doesn't a smoker have as much of a right to enjoy a cigar after a meal, or a drink, as a non-smoker to not do so? Doesn't the non-smoker have the freedom to chose to not frequent a restaurant or bar which sanctions smoking? Isn't the same choice available when choosing what company you want to work for? In my mind, there is no question, smoking can and should be banned in all publically owned buildings because non-smokers have no choice but to enter them ... but to ban it in private buildings and at the entrance of public buildings, violates a smokers right, personal choice, to engage in a behavior which harms no one but himself. Kansas City's No Smoking Ordinance is overly broad, intrusive and it's "impedes entrance to or exit" provision is unconstitutionally vague. How about Kansas City implement the no-smoking plan funded by New York City? Instead of banning smoking, help folks quit? ... "For quitting smoking, a little extra incentive may be all that is needed. The New York City Health Department provided evidence of that with free nicotine replacement patches. Smokers who received free nicotine-replacement patches, followed by telephone counseling, were more likely to quit than those in a comparison group, according to Nancy Miller, Ph.D., of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and colleagues in a study published in The Lancet."

In an Avian Flu update, www.recombinomics.com now reports the death of over 8,000 migratory birds ... and deaths in several mammalian species ... including humans, in Qinqhai Province, Gangcha County, Quanji Town, China. China admits 519 deaths, (none human) ... and ... the State of Pennsylvania has a plan for dealing with a Flu Pandemic ... unfortunately, it's being kept a secret. With such stupidity, don't you wonder how we managed to become the dominant species on this little oasis in the Cosmos?

In the February 6, 2004 Ramblings, I wrote .... "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." Today, "Four American allies in the Persian Gulf are among the countries criticized for not doing enough to combat human trafficking in a U.S. State Department report released Friday." [Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates also faulted, Bolivia, Cambodia, Cuba, Ecuador, Jamaica, Myanmar (formerly Burma), North Korea, Sudan, Togo and Venezuela] "The United States could impose sanctions on these 14 countries, including the withholding of nonhumanitarian and nontrade-related assistance. The U.S. government also could oppose requests for assistance from international financial institutions." Yup ... would have a real effect on our gulf state allies, (you know, the ones that have more money than the Vatican), wouldn't it? How about, before we point a finger and seek sanctions against other nations, we deal with the pigs that import slave labor to our America, (farm workers and nannies), how about we clean our own house!!! 'Nuff said.

Sitting here editing the Ramblings, sipping on some Cream Sherry, (over crushed ice), and chuckling about my Dear Friend Gary Bollinger's quip .... <chuckling> .... (KT), "Sitting here finishing off the Ramblings ... and have hit a wall. What are the 7 vices? Smoking, drinking, gluttony, lust ... and? and?" (GB), "Having perused the endings to many of your Friday Night Ramblings, I find no surprise that your mind froze at lust." It is raining really hard outside, (hard enough to block our satellite reception), but good for our garden, (cucumbers, yellow squash, lima beans and string beans, tomatoes, grapes and apples). My daughter is coming to Ft Timmerman tomorrow with her "boy friend", (you know, the kid I may have to kill, if he hurts her ) I look forward to meeting him, (he actually does seem like a nice kid ... especially after Elsbeth made the comment, "Dad, he's just like you.") Do daughters really look for men that remind them of their father? On the evening news, Iraqi's killing other Iraqi's. In a joint American/Iraqi operation "Operation Lightening", Baghdad was sealed off and troops searched "house to house" to clean out "insurgents", (29 insurgents killed, over 700 arrested) ... and the latest poll ... a majority of Iraqi's believe things are getting better. Michael Jackson, after facing his accusers, (and no testimony from him), will listen to what a jury has to say, probably on Monday. After all the money spent, by both sides, he will be found "Not Guilty", though not "Innocent". Was it really worth the expense? With limited prosecutorial resources, probably not.

My Dear Friend Gary Bollinger is right. I "lust" after Susan, (even after all these years), more than when we first met. We still walk around holding hands. I still bring her flowers and when I go to the store, buy her little gifts, just to let her know, I was thinking about her. I share with her every day ... how much I love her, how important she is to me ... you see ... she IS my life. Wynonna Judd's song, "She Is His Only Need" pretty well says it all.

Working overtime

To give her things just to hear her say she donít deserve them

But he loves her and he just kept going overboard

Over the limit to afford to give her things he knew she wanted

ĎCause without her where would he be?

See, itís not for him

She is his only need

Tonight, will go to sleep holding her and give a prayer of thanks for being able to do so ... 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, 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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