Karl H. Timmerman M.A.J.D. © 2003
All Rights Reserved
A MISSOURI LAWYER'S
FRIDAY NIGHT RAMBLINGS
MoBar Solo and Small Firm Internet Group
NOVEMBER 7, 2003
The "Ramblings" are a series of emails sent, for the most part, on Friday night, to the Solo and Small Firm Internet Group, (SFIG), Listserve. Compiled here are the Ramblings for 2002 - 2003. They contain my random thoughts and observations on current events and the posts made to the SFIG during that week. They are the Ramblings of a small town, (Holden, population 2,700), Missouri, country lawyer.
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September 11, 2001
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Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of November 7, 2003. Last Saturday night I watched "To Kill A Mocking Bird" again ..... hadn't seen it in 20 years. "Scout" and her brother and a friend out at night? Un-minded? ... unsupervised/protected? So .. share with me ..... how we are so much better as a society since 1962 ..... our children so much better off .... today? Can they play in their front yards ... with neighbors keeping watch? Nope. Reminded me ..... why I decided to practice law instead of being a "shrink". Geez .... I hope we/I can make enough of a difference ..... so they CAN once again. Doubt it.
This week Bryan S. asked, (about Mel Gibsons new movie): "Is it Anti-Semitic to point out (the) historical fact that the Jewish religious leaders of 2000 years ago convinced the roman government to crucify Christ?" After several responsive posts from different folks. David Ru**** wrote: "I strongly suggest that this listserve let this issue rest". Steven B wrote: "To attempt to exert control over submissions to the list is, in my view, patently offensive, notwithstanding Mr. Ru****s insistence that the use of imperatives ("leave it at that," etc) is merely precatory (to borrow yet again)". David Ru**** had written: "My point was simply that "for the sake of listserve peace" its better if the thread end." I see no attempt to "exert control over submissions to the list", merely a warning that this topic may be very contentious. It is. Should it be barred because it is contentious .... or it may offend? No. Some of the greatest, well thought out, articulate, arguments I have seen, I have seen here ..... and have been about subjects that would be "off limits" if this little "house" was moderated. Should we chose our words carefully when we discuss sensitive issues and be sensitive to the impact our discussions have? Without a doubt. 'Nuff said.
The ONLY reason I joined the Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee was to continue being a member of the SFIG. I was surprised to see David R, (Committee Chairman of the Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee, the MoBar Committee that sponsors the Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee Conference ..... and also hosts the SFIG), call for an "oversight committee" for the SFIG. Just what would it do? How would it oversee ...... and oversee what? I was more surprised to see Momma, (Linda), O's post: "With all due respect, this thread of SFIG discussions [Jews as Christ killers] should end with this message." (Posted, I have since learned .... not in her "Official" capacity, but as an opinion.) Why? If the SFIG can survive and grow after the "Ant and Grasshopper" and "Gay Boy Scout" debates ..... a little discussion of religious bigotry is small stuff. I see no risk to the listserve or the Bar from open and vigorous discussions of controversial subjects, (even though some members might/may/are offended). We, (the SFIG Family), are all intelligent, trained advocates, who self regulate ourselves quite well. Further, from what I see, those that hold the SFIG as only being a "legal tool" provided by the Bar, seldom contribute. MoBar has a listserve for every area of practice. Why are they not used? Because ..... there is no traffic on those listserves! Do you really think the sense of "family" we have derives from discussing "the law"? The sense of "family" we have is a direct result of sharing our lives, our fears, our triumphs, our defeats .... sharing who we are. The business of the SFIG is SHARING LIFE .... the giving of a verbal, (or actual "hug"), encouragement .... and yes, the answer to a quick question, (hehehe ..... at times with questionable accuracy). The biggest threat to our little "family" is not it's growth, not the discussing of controversial subjects ..... but any attempt to regulate it. Years ago, I was "managing associate" of a 16 member office association of Solo Lawyers ..... talk about herding cats!!! :) We have over 448 "cats" on this list ... you try to "herd/regulate" them ..... they'll just walk away. From experience, there is nothing that will frost the grits of a Solo Lawyer faster ..... than being told what to .... or not do!
After some soul searching, I have resigned as Vice-Chairman of the Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee. I feel sure David R will lead the committee well. I know he will. I wish to clarify/stress that it was not Linda's post but rather David R's posts/vision of appointing an "Over-Sight" committee and a "Form Bank" committee for the SFIG, that triggered my resignation. Seeing Linda's post only exacerbated my reaction. (Linda is a wonderful Lady person and a dear, dear friend and I hope ..... remains so). As is David ( ... a dear, dear friend ..... although ..... without a doubt ..... of the male persuasion and not anywhere near as good looking as Linda :) I wish our Bar Association well but I don't and never have viewed the SFIG as being part of the Bar: only hosted by the Bar. I see the SFIG as an unregulated, separate entity from the Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee. I see the SFIG "leadership" vested in it's members, not the Bar. The SFIG was founded as an adjunct to the Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee, NOT the listserve FOR the committee. "Formalizing" the SFIG under the Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee, would strangle it. Setting up "oversight" committees, "formalizing", would imply control over content and potentially put the Bar at risk for that SFIG or "Form Bank" content, (as noted by David Ru****). That would have to result in the regulation of content by the Bar: censorship. I care for and respect David R as a dear, dear friend ..... I could not in good conscience be part of HIS leadership team trying to help HIM accomplish one of HIS goals as Chairman, while being adamantly against, lobbying against, the things HE wishes to accomplish for the SFIG. To continue to grow and thrive, the SFIG must remain "free", open to all Solo and Small Firm lawyers, with it's leadership cumulatively vested in it's members: not a Bar subcommittee. It must continue to do what it does best: give Solo and Small Firm lawyers a sense of "community", a sense of "soul", purpose and the ability to share LIFE and thereby have a LIFE to share! And most important, keep making a difference in our client's LIFE.
Susan has been approved for an "Insulin Pump" :) I was expecting a fight from Blue Cross/Blue Shield, (they cost $5,000.00 and require training to use) .... but she was approved. It is a device the size of a pager that slowly drips insulin, through a tube and thereby allows her to manage her diabetes much more effectively. Susan is a "Type 1" diabetic .... she's been on insulin since age 13. 17 Million Americans suffer from diabetes, most are "Type 2", "late onset". Diabetes is a silent killer .... it kills you an inch at a time. http://my.webmd.com/content/article/56/65902 "you (or someone you care about) may already have type 2 diabetes, or develop it, if you are aging, eating an unhealthy diet, are obese, and/or are living a sedentary (non-active) lifestyle". Symptoms to watch out for:
Unusual weight loss?
Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal?
Tingling/numbness in the hands or feet?
Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections?
Undetected, it literally does kill you an inch at a time. Have a doubt? Get a checkup!!!
Sitting here sipping on some BBB, editing these Ramblings ..... heard that Leroux may/has stopped importing BBB from Poland. Anyone know if we have "reciprocity" with Poland? :) We will have another "Damn Yorkie" at Ft Timmerman tomorrow ... "Max" .... a little 4 year old male .... <sigh> ..... turns out Yorkies are like potato chips ... a couple isn't enough. At least it's a male .... feeling a little "outnumbered" here! Been a rough week for me. It was not an easy decision to resign: I love the work I do for the Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee and I admire, respect and "love" David R as a brother. "Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny." --- Mahatma Gandhi .... a quote from one of the incredible number of private emails I received. Time will tell if I made the "right" decision. Will be in Columbia tomorrow afternoon to teach a CLE with my dear friend Shelley Bishop .... look forward to giving her a warm brotherly hug. The fireplace at Ft Timmerman is cranking out the heat: all is well. We lost 6 men in Iraq today .... I will say a prayer for them and their families, for our America, for Susan and I ..... and for you as I drift off to sleep tonight, (wonder ..... once she's connected to the insulin pump ... will we still be able to sleep au natural ... ??)
Be and sleep well ...... the best there is ..... is on watch. If my post offends, I apologize ..... that is not my intent.
Karl (the dumb ole country lawyer from Holden, Missouri).