SEPTEMBER 22, 2006

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 - 2006.

I have decided to finish my legal career serving the citizens of Johnson County, Missouri as their Associate Circuit Judge.  I ask for your support. 


Archived Prior Ramblings

In Memoriam:
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
  06-03-05  06-12-05  06-17-05
  06-24-05  07-01-05  07-08-05
  07-15-05  07-22-05  07-29-05
  08-05-05  08-12-05  08-19-05
  08-26-05  09-02-05  09-09-05
  09-16-05  09-23-05  09-30-05
  10-07-05  10-14-05  10-21-05
  10-28-05  11-04-05  11-11-05
  11-18-05  11-25-05  12-02-05
  12-09-05  12-16-05  12-23-05
  01-06-06  01-13-06  01-20-06
  01-27-06  02-03-06  02-10-06
  02-17-06  02-24-06  03-03-06
  03-10-06  03-17-06  03-24-06
  03-31-06  04-07-06  04-14-06
  04-21-06  04-28-06  05-05-06
  05-12-06  05-19-06  05-26-06
  06-02-06  06-09-06  06-16-06
  06-23-06  06-30-06  07-07-06
  07-14-06  07-21-06  07-28-06
  08-04-06  08-11-06  08-18-06
  08-25-06  09-01-06  09-08-06
  09-15-06  09-22-06
Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of September 22, 2006. INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- 2 infants die after getting adult doses of drug. "Two premature infants died after receiving adult doses of a blood thinner, a hospital said Sunday, blaming the incident on human error. Four other infants in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit of Methodist Hospital also received adult doses of Heparin, and one might need surgery, said Sam Odle, chief executive of Methodist and Indiana University Hospitals. The other three were in serious condition." Just 2, of the 80,000 - 90,000 Americans killed each year, by medical malpractice. So share with me ... how many did "Trial Lawyers" kill? "Tort Reform" limits the liability of the health care provider ... a solution by our elected representatives to increasing medical malpractice premiums, triggered by SUCCESSFUL law suits seeking compensation by the victims of malpractice, (or their families). "Tort Reform" solves only one problem: malpractice insurance companies having to pay claims caused by the malpractice of their insureds. "Tort Reform" is not a solution ... it only compounds the problem by making change un-necessary: it is the easy way out. Wouldn't a better solution be holding malpractice insurance carriers accountable for the malpractice of their insured medical professionals, (since the healing arts boards which license health care professionals appear/seem less than effective, by forcing them to pay judgments rendered by a jury of a victims peers?) Wouldn't that result in malpractice carriers refusing to write malpractice insurance for those individuals who have been found wanting ... and perhaps either drive them out of business or seek remedial training? Assuming, of course, malpractice carriers adopt the same business model used by health insurance providers: a risk analysis model, instead of a social model, meaning, the premium is based on the risk posed by a given individual, (based upon his history), versus the individual's premium being based upon all of the individuals in his specialty.

As a society, we need to re-evaluate our health care system. As a society, we do not have unlimited resources. That remains a simple reality. May I make some observations, express some opinions at a very simplistic level, (some of the readers of the Ramblings, are not lawyers)? On the Federal level, it is the function of our elected representatives, in the legislative branch, to prioritize the use of these resources, based upon the wishes of their local constituents. Therein lies the problem. Each elected representative answers to the interests of their local constituents. They do not answer, nor are held accountable, by all of the citizens of our America. Does "pork barrel" ... ring a bell? [The solution, (not an elegant one, since it can result in abuse by the Executive Branch), remains what most State Governors have: a line item veto.] Course, then, we have the Executive Branch, the chief executive being our President ... his constituents remain, ALL Americans. Assuming things work the way our Founding Fathers envisioned, he has NO POWER, other than the power granted by our elected representatives, to implement the "will of the people". Keep in mind, our Founding Fathers were scared sh*tless that our America would be subject to the whims of a "King"! "Executive Orders" are non curum judice, if they exceed powers/directives granted by our elected representatives, (the will of the people) or use means prohibited by our Bill of Rights. Our President can not, legally, impose his will, do whatever he wants. His actions are constrained to the mandates legislated by the legislative branch, (again, the will of the people) and our Constitution. Our elected representatives have no forces, NO POWER, to enforce their mandates. Our Congress has no troops at their command. In my opinion. the Framers idea was to have a balance, between will and the power to implement that will ... and to ensure the legitimacy of that will.

Our founding Fathers formed the Judicial Branch to ensure the "legitimacy of that will". The third branch of our government. At the Federal Level, members are selected for nomination by the Executive Branch and affirmed by the Legislative Branch. States vary. It's function remains universal in our America. It exists to enforce the contract we have with our elected representatives, in the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch. That contract is/remains our "Constitution", (both, at State and Federal levels). It defines and limits what our elected representative may and may NOT do in our collective names. We, as individuals, retain ALL rights, except those specifically granted to our elected representatives. Individual freedom, as the core intent of our Founding Fathers in framing that contract, was reiterated by the 10th Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people", In my mind, a judges role, (when dealing with constitutional issues), is to define the line between power granted and power usurped. It is NOT a judges role to make policy or law ... a judges role is to ensure, based on the rights granted in our Bill of Rights, that the majority's will does not infringe on the rights of the minority. After all, isn't the "will of the people" comprised of 51% of the folks who voted, (20%), in the last election?

That brings us back to our health care system. Raises an interesting question for me. Perhaps "health insurance" ... and "health care" should be separate issues, instead of one being a function of the other? Just when was it, that health insurance companies started providing medical care, (provided ... because they determine what medical procedures you have access to ... what they will pay for ... and what they deem necessary/appropriate?) They, not your Doctor, make the medical decisions that determine your well being. They determine what medical treatments you have access to ... because they pay for it. They call the shots, not your doctor ... don't they? They determine what medical treatments are appropriate, based on a cost analysis. Don't they? Interesting. The Doctors I know are caring, loving, honorable people ... who have a calling to doctor, save lives, to serve, help, their fellow human beings. The vast majority, want to make a difference. The vast majority do ... and like you and I ... they understand the concept of "pro bono". Most have indigent clients/patients they serve. I guess, like most of us, they have simple goals ... they just want to pay back their student loans and support their families: make a comfortable living. They are victimized, like you and I, by a communal zeitgeist celebrating and paying company CEO's, millions of dollars, (while some of their workers apply for "Food Stamps") .... CEO's, who show a dividend to their shareholders, at the expense of workers and RND, (Research And Development), by shipping jobs and RND to China and India, in the name of being "competitive in a global world market". Got news ... when Ford starts selling "Expeditions" in Bangladesh, (other than the 20 sold to the government), I'll believe in the concept of a "global world market". Until then, manufactured goods will only sell, in significant numbers, in those countries whose workers earn enough to buy them. Share with me the logic behind our corporations outsourcing to countries, whose workers are not paid enough to produce these products, to afford to purchase the products they produce? While here, in our America, workers can not buy them either ... because they are out of a job or working for minimum wage! "Global World Market"? Point being? Our health care system is no different. It is driven by short term profit. For example: Susan now, (Thank God), is on an insulin pump. Our health insurance limits her ability to manage her blood sugar levels, by limiting the number of blood sugar test strips they will pay for. [Note: I buy however many, whatever number of test strips she needs, irrespective of the number covered ... I WANT her to manage her diabetes!!! BTW: another example of marketing, they give the testers away ... like inkjet printers! ... they make their money on test strips/ink cartridges] Think about it. The more times she tests, the better she is able to manage her diabetes, the less likely she is to have "complications" ... like body parts falling off, kidney failure, diabetic retinopathy, etc. ... resulting, in the future, in our health insurance provider potentially being on the hook for some high dollar medical treatments .... amputations, dialysis, a kidney transplant ... etc. They can raise our premium, (they have ... we pay $1,750 a month), but they can't cancel us. Coming full circle ... two babies died. Those responsible, due to "Tort Reform", have limited liability ... so ... what incentive is there to effectuate change? ... while the quest for short term profit, causes all of our premiums to rise. Our health care system has MAJOR problems, not the least of which, is trying to figure out how to provide basic health care for the 48 MILLION middle class Americans who don't have health insurance. May I ask the question again? Perhaps "health insurance" and "health care" should be separate issues, instead of one being a function of the other? 'Nuff said.

BEIJING, China (AP) -- No hugs or kisses: Panda, man exchange bites. "A drunken Chinese tourist bit a panda at the Beijing Zoo after the animal attacked him when he jumped into the enclosure and tried to hug it, state media said Wednesday ... Startled, Gu Gu bit Zhang in the right leg, it said. Zhang, a 35-year-old migrant laborer from central Henan province, got angry and kicked the panda, who then bit his other leg. A tussle ensued, the paper said ... Newspaper photographs showed Zhang lying on a hospital bed with blood-soaked bandages and several seams of stitches running down his leg." Panda's eat bamboo ... perhaps if this pilgrim was not wearing bamboo camouflage ... he would have fared better. Course that begs the question: "Dude ... why would you jump a fence, at the Zoo, to hug a Panda?" .... <whispering> ... some Pandas are homophobic ... they don't like to be hugged by other males, of whatever species ... especially while imprisoned in a Zoo! They are intelligent ... they know, there is no such thing as Panda "soap on a rope" and govern themselves accordingly.

CINCINNATI, Ohio (AP) -- Feds: 'Smiling Bob' firm ran $100M scam. "The maker of dietary supplements that claim to improve everything from sexuality to memory defrauded thousands of customers and banks of at least $100 million, federal authorities say ... The company, which recently said it has 5 million customers worldwide, is known for its "Smiling Bob" ads that depict a man whose life gets better after he uses the company's Enzyte for "natural male enhancement." The company markets nationally a variety of other products claiming to help everything from night vision to memory to female libido." A company spokesman in person and through newspaper ads responded: ""We have invested heavily in major improvements designed to overcome our early growing pains. The net result of these investments is that today we have more than 5 million customers worldwide, and our customer service is better than most of the Fortune 500 companies." If that isn't an indictment of corporate America, what is? They defrauded the hell out of their customers and have customer service better than most of the Fortune 500? Guess they haven't "out sourced" it to India yet ... or ... they feed their customer service employees, "natural customer service enhancing" pills.

SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters) -- Baby on bong: Court upholds mom's conviction. "A Montana mother who allowed her 18-month-old baby daughter to inhale from a marijuana water pipe was properly convicted, but should not have to spend five years in jail, a U.S. appeals court ruled Friday ... "Ms. Durham allegedly remarked that smoking improved Michala's appetite and left Michala lethargic and mellow - a manner she found consistent with her own experience smoking marijuana," Judge Louis Pollak of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in summarizing the case. Hey! What's wrong with a "Binkie Bong"? 18 month old children can be fussy eaters and get into everything!! I can see some benefits to having a mellow 18 month old with the munchies!! .... <whispering> ... what parent in their right mind gives their kid dupe?!!!

Sitting here editing these Ramblings and getting ready to head out with Susan, to attend a "Tractor Pull" in Chilhowee ... pork and bean supper ... then head back to Holden, for "Homecoming". So the Ramblings will be published about an hour early. I can promise you one thing. No matter the outcome of the election, I will NEVER eat another pancake!! We have another busy day of campaigning tomorrow and after church on Sunday. We have two parades coming up: the Holden Fair Parade on Saturday, the 30th at 5:00 pm and CMSU's Homecoming Parade in October .... <whispering> .... want to come over and walk in the parades with me? :)

My Dear Lady Friend Sandra F, in one of her posts opined, "I only hope we are still willing to fight for our country." We are. We may differ on how and where and discuss the merits of differing means to gain an end we all seek: a safe and secure America. We all do, support our troops ... because we are not fools. These troops are our family, friends and neighbors. Each night, as I fall asleep holding the person who is most dear to me ... I say a prayer of thanks for being able to do so ... and I also say a prayer 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. I am told, some snippets, out of context, from old Ramblings are being passed around. Some find these snippets offensive and will not vote for me because of them. That saddens me greatly. I write these Ramblings to poke fun, comment on the human condition and perhaps cause a moment of reflection. There is no intent on my part to offend .... and if they do or did, I again apologize. As always ....

A Warm Brotherly Hug

Karl (the dumb ole country lawyer from Holden, Missouri)

"Timmerman for Judge Campaign Committee": http://www.timmermanforjudge.com/

Click here to read an Interview of the Author.

Karl H. Timmerman M.A. J.D. 2006
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