Karl H. Timmerman M.A.J.D. 2003
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to the
MoBar Solo and Small Firm Internet Group

NOVEMBER 28, 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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In Memorium:
September 11, 2001
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Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of November 28, 2003.  Been reading the on going "committee" debate ..... folks talking about "content" and "volume" and proposed solutions.  Read the Chair of the Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee trying to re-assure folks on the Solo and Small Firm Internet Group, that there would be no "censorship" .... in public and in an email to me "the only "moderation" should be exercised by the members themselves, not by any "authority".  I take him at his word. Why would he lie to me/us? By the same token, I know Dan Lane and fully understand his and David Browning's concerns. They have valid points.  It is argued that some type of "committee" needs to be in place to avoid future problems which could/would result in "formal" regulation of the SFIG by the Bar.  Like the vast majority of you, including David Ransin, Dan Lane, David Browning et. al.,  I remain of the opinion that this "house" should continue to regulate itself.  Without a "committee", SFIG will continue to "self-regulate":  with a "committee", there is the possibility that a future Chairman, a future committee or perhaps the Bar, could use the "committee" to moderate/regulate.  There has to be a better solution.  A "house" is the home of a "family",  a committee listserve is the "town square", a place where folks hang out and conduct business: different places, different purposes.  The SFIG is a "house", a place where our "family" members meet, live, share their lives and knowledge, as equals. I choose to call the SFIG my home. Some things don't need "formal" fixing. They fix themselves. They succumb to "order" by the evolution of  the chaotic, dynamic, flow of human interaction: a self "fix", self "healing". That is how the "Ransin Rule" and the "Nettiquette Haiku" were born ... that is how the ad hoc "Form Bank Committee" came into being. These are examples, the result of, "family" members suggesting and submitting ideas to the whole "family".  If  indeed, something like a formal "committee" is necessary to avoid future problems which could/will result in "formal" bar regulation, then I have a simple solution.  Remove the Bar from the equation, remove the Bar from incurring any possible liability.  After much thought and David Ransin's observation that the SFIG, (Internet Group), should remain separate from the SASFPC, (the Practice Committee), I have a simple and elegant solution.  Wayne Greer can set up a Listserve for the Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee to deal with SASFPC, (Practice Committee), issues:  "the Town Square".  At the same time, Wayne can change the SFIG to a separate entity, a "house" hosted by our Bar as a "service" to Solo and Small Firm Lawyers, just as the Bar hosts Websites for local Bar Associations. No Bar involvement.  No Bar oversight. No Bar liability for content.  No Bar management to complain to.  My dear friend, Scott Gardner volunteered and is working on a "Welcome Wagon Manual", (in PDF format),  to be sent to each current "family" member for improvement suggestions and once completed, it will be automatically sent to each new member when they join.  A "Welcome" that shares the history of our "family", the "Nettiquette Haiku" and step by step instructions on how to configure email clients for file management.   (Perhaps my dear, gifted friends, Gary Bollinger and Richard Swatek and of course you, would volunteer to work with Scott on the project?  :)   As for a "Disclaimer"?  Here's one:

"The Solo and Small Firm Internet Group, (SFIG),  is "hosted" by the Missouri Bar Association as a service to Missouri's Solo and Small Firm Lawyers. The SFIG is SELF REGULATING and SELF MODERATING with no Bar OVERSIGHT. Membership in the SFIG is a voluntary option for any Solo or Small Firm member of the Missouri Bar Association. The Missouri Bar Association has no control nor assumes any liability or responsibility for CONTENT on the SFIG."

This "solution" is easily doable. It would change nothing, except remove the specter of possible future oversight:  it would return the "family" to what and where it was before "oversight", real or perceived, became an issue.  Do we want it done? 

"The troops had been told only that they were gathered for Thanksgiving dinner with a VIP guest in the mess hall at Baghdad. L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq  .... added his own drama to the surprise. Billed as the special guest along with coalition forces commander Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, Bremer opened the program by telling the soldiers it was time to read the president's Thanksgiving proclamation. He asked if there was "anybody back there more senior than us" to read the president's words. Bush emerged from behind a curtain as cheering soldiers climbed on chairs and tables to yell their approval. The president shed a few tears. "I was just looking for a warm meal somewhere,"' he joked, fresh from an 11-hour overseas flight. "Thanks for inviting me to dinner."   [...... once back in the air ......]  "It's got to be a lonely moment for them," Bush said. "I thought it was important to send that message that we care for them (the troops) and we support them strongly, that we erase any doubts in their minds as to whether or not the people stand with them ..... Having seen the reaction of those troops, you know it was the right thing to do.AOL News.  He flew 11 hours to spend 2 1/2 hours with our men and women in uniform,  in Iraq. I suppose there will be those who say our President was only glomming a photo op.  Maybe he was. Some will say he was wasting taxpayer money. To me, he put a smile on the lips of 600 of our men and women in uniform .... I can not, will not, fault him for doing so.  I do not agree with most of his politics ..... but in this case, I say ...... "Well done, Mr. President!!  Well done, indeed!!  Now .... finish the job so our men and women in uniform can be home next Thanksgiving!  Oh  ........  and Mr. President, some may not agree, may not understand, why you marched our troops into Iraq.  Some do.  Whether it was the right thing to do, time will tell.  But Mr. President, rest assured, the American people do stand with our men and women in uniform, do care for them and do pray for their speedy, safe, return home.  I know I do."  'Nuff said.

Read in the Kansas City Star on Tuesday that there are between 35 - 45 MILLION people infected with the AIDS virus.  3,000 persons are dying each day, (1,095,000 per year), while 5,000, (1,825,000 per year),  more, are infected.  Most in Africa, China and the former Soviet Union.  Do the math. There will be, already are, massive holes in adult populations in these parts of the world.  There will be, there already are, massive numbers of orphans.  "Collateral damage" from a self-limiting disease, easy to eradicate by abstinence, by monogamous relationships, by education. Only goes to prove that as a species, we have a design flaw:  we have two organs that contain no "grey matter":  the heart is one of them.

"Metrosexual" is a word coined by Mark Simpson in 1994: see 
http://www.wordspy.com/words/metrosexual.asp ).  Democratic Presidential Candidate, Howard Dean describes himself as one, ( http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~64~1729382,00.html ).  A "Metrosexual" by definition is: "(MET.roh.sek.shoo.ul) n. A dandyish narcissist in love with not only himself, but also his urban lifestyle; a straight man who is in touch with his feminine side."   We don't have any "Metrosexuals" in Holden.  No prissy, foppy, men out here.  No designer french cut overalls. Here, most men own three pairs of shoes:  a pair of sneakers, a pair of boots and a pair of Sunday going to church shoes  ...... still wear Hanes tighty-whites.  Men out here don't pluck their eyebrows or wax their backs or legs, don't moisturize daily or get pedicures. Good reading remains whatever magazine is in the bathroom.  A really good-time Friday night still consists of watching the local high school football game and afterward, (sometimes during), sucking down a six pack and a pizza.  Out here, men remain "workosexuals" ....  by definition, "a man who is being housebroke by his wife/girlfriend:  a work in progress"  :)

Sitting here editing the Ramblings, sipping on some BBB and thinking about introducing Sherrie Hansen to the Supremo's, (I am humbled by the bestowed honor  .....  course, her other preference was the larger of her two neutered male goats).  Wonder how she knew I was a Capricorn? When I first started practicing law, it was the custom for an old lawyer to take a "puppy shark" under his FIN and personally introduce them to the most important persons they would encounter in their practice:  namely, the judges clerks .... er .... and of course the Judges themselves. Not the custom anymore except in the court of appeals and before the Supremo's. Kind of sad .... it fostered a sense of community, a tie and continuity between old and new lawyers. Some new things are not necessarily better.  Dan Pingelton jokingly commented that he has stopped reading the Ramblings because they no longer contain "Soft Porn", (I suppose comments about how much I love my Susan  ....  how beautiful she is as a person ... how attractive and sexy I find her).  Some may think they actually do contain "soft porn".  That saddens me.  I seldom, if ever, hear "workosexuals" talk about how much they love and respect their partners:  how special their "spousal units" are.  That also saddens me. I write these Ramblings, (and occasionally get some feedback), as a means of sharing some thoughts, raising issues that should be mulled over and perhaps make you smile. As lawyers, we don't smile enough.  As I drift off to sleep tonight, (this is for you, Dan), curled around and holding handfuls of Susan, I will smile remembering the looks and faces on our uniformed men and women as their Commander and Chief, served them a Thanksgiving dinner.  I will whisper "Thank you, Lord!!  Thank you!!  Speed them safely home."   Be and sleep well, yesterday was a day of thanks giving, today and our tomorrows are/will be days of thanks living:  keep making "the difference" in your clients lives!  Remember and give thanks  .....  the best there is, remains on watch ....
If my post offends, I apologize ..... that is not my intent.
Karl (the dumb ole country lawyer from Holden, Missouri).