DECEMBER 10, 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 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
Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of December 10, 2004.  Last Sunday evening, watched an interview of Bob Dylan.  Great interview but carried me back to the basement of "Chicken Bob's" house, 1966: "Chicken Bob", "Freddy the Frog", "Fat Louie" and I sitting there, sucking down "Ripple", while listening, voice synching to "Dylan":

I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains,
I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways,
I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests,
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans,
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

and talking about "THE WAR".   Then, we didn't have a clue what Dylan was talking about:  a "hard rain"???  A "hard rain" did fall on way too many of my generation:  for some, it fell in Vietnam and for others, it fell when they returned home. And for a few, it is still falling ... as they sit in homeless shelters.  "Chicken" died in '87, "Frog" in the early '90s and "Fat Louie", a couple of months ago ... <sigh> ... and I'm still here, thinking about them and the "hard rain" falling now. Now  ... having been given time, I can see what Dylan meant by the "hard rain" falling.  According to 60 Minutes, Bob Dylan has been nominated for a Nobel Prize in literature. Strange, isn't it ... how some poetry is timeless ... and some poetry ... just takes time:

Oh, what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what'll you do now, my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin',
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest,
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,
Where the executioner's face is always well hidden,
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten,
Where black is the color, where none is the number,
And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it,
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it,
Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin',
But I'll know my song well before I start singin',
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Guess, some visions of the human condition, expressed in verse, take time for the rest of us to see... to make sense of.   But once seen, like truth, become timeless.  Truth is timeless ... but, perhaps, some truth, like poetry ... just takes time to see.

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) released it's report this week:  9th and 10th graders, (15 year olds), in the United States, seriously lag behind the rest of the world in the practical application of math to real world problems.  "In 2003, U.S. performance in mathematics literacy and problem solving was lower than the average performance for most OECD countries ( table 2 and table 3). The United States also performed below the OECD average on each mathematics literacy subscale representing a specific content area (space and shape, change and relationships, quantity, and uncertainty)."  Out of 29 countries, the US ranked 24th. Korea and Finland ranked 1 and 2, respectively.  So what does this mean?  It means that American 15 year olds, understand the value of a dollar .... they just don't know how to make change.  Really makes sense when you think about it:  they shop at the Mall using their parent's credit card.  Why would they need to count or make change?  Course there are also those who work at the Mall and use a cash register that tells them what change to make.

In other science news, a study released by "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences", (PNAS), found, after analyzing Chinese ceramic shards over 9,000 years old, that they were old wine bottles. Priorly, the origins of making beer and wine had been traced to the middle east:  apparently the Chinese had been doing so much earlier.  "These drinks have played key roles in the development of human culture and technology, contributing to the advance and intensification of agriculture, horticulture and food processing technologies." So ... now we have a better understanding of the origins of the "local bar" and the "oldest profession", (although scientists are still trying to decypher the meaning of one of the inscriptions found:  "Call Chi Ling for a good time.")  Personally, I think it explains why there are so many Chinese.

And:  "US fertility experts have warned teenage boys and young men to consider limiting the time they use laptop computers positioned on their laps, as long-term use may affect their fertility." ... reported in the IndiaTimes. "The findings are reported in Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction. They show that using a laptop on the lap increased the left scrotal temperature. Several previous studies have shown that increases in testicular or scrotal temperatures are associated with a considerable negative effect on fertility". Nice to know.  Hope they realize they have effectively killed my jockstrap PDA concept.  Think about it:  artificial intelligence for one of the two organs on your body that cause you to do stupid things. [ Neither organ has any gray matter and in case you are wondering:  the heart is the other!].

I'm still trying to figure out the relationship between our Supreme Court, our Bar Association, (MoBar), and the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel, (OCDC). [In the November 26, 2004 Ramblings, I outlined our Bar Association's structure] .... <scratching his head>  ....   We make our "Missouri Bar Association" dues check payable to the Clerk of the Supreme Court, (most of us pay $225).  $157.00 is given to our Bar Association and the remainder to the OCDC.  If we are licensed by our Supreme Court, why are we required to be a member "in good standing" of the "Missouri Bar Association"? Isn't our Missouri Bar Association, a  private, independent organization, with no formal ties to our Supreme Court? Or is MoBar a part of our Supreme Court?  First, the "Missouri Bar Association" isn't an "association" at all  ... you don't have the freedom to associate or not and it is not independent. It is a part of and created by our Supreme Court, (think of it as the "good son" committee).  The OCDC is also part of and created by our Supreme Court, (think of it as the "bad son" committee.)  Both the "good" son and the "bad" son answer directly to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has absolute power over both sons:  by a simple stroke of the pen, they can change funding distribution, or for that matter repeal the civil rule which created them.  Can our Supreme Court mandate a statute of limitations for bar complaints?  Absolutely!  Can our Supreme Court mandate a vacation rule so you can take some time off with your family?  Absolutely! Can our Supreme Court mandate, by Civil Rule, that a Photo ID issued by one county, to bypass courthouse security, be usable at all courthouses?  Put another way:  can our Supreme Court exert control over local sheriffs departments by limiting security measures?  Interesting question.  The courthouse is owned and funded by the county in which it is located. The county is mandated to make courtrooms available. Security is also provided by the county, (the Sheriffs Department). All counties which have implemented metal detector security measures, issue Photo IDs to courthouse personnel, officers of the court, (Juvenile Officers, Prosecuting Attorney's and their staff), by Order of the Presiding Judge, (and I would surmise, with the consent of the county's commissioners.)  Whether to issue an ID Card, is an administrative function/decision by a local court. Can our Supreme Court control administrative functions/decisions of local courts? Isn't that part of their job? That being the case, couldn't our Supreme Court mandate that if a local court decides to issue Photo ID Cards, it can only do so, if it honors the Photo ID Card issued by a sister court?  Missouri Constitution, Article V, Section 15.1, "... The circuit judges of the circuit may make rules for the circuit not inconsistent with the rules of the supreme court.The issue is not one of controlling Sheriffs Departments:  it is about setting parameters for administrative decisions made by judges. This dumb ole country lawyer wants a Statute of Limitations on Bar Complaints, (how could I destroy files after 10 years, if I have to keep the files to defend a Bar Complaint). This dumb ole country lawyer wants a Picture ID, issued by one county, to bypass security, be honored in every county that decides to issues one. This dumb ole country lawyer wants a "vacation rule",  so, upon notice given and filed,  I can take up to three weeks off, with my family, and not worry about a default being taken against my client.  'Nuff said, (for now).

On the evening news last night:  there is now direct airline service to Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam. Perhaps an old "hard rain" is now just a gentle drizzle but not for those suffering from Agent Orange exposure:  not for those who still flash back to times and events no human being should have to go through.  And, I got news:  it is storming in Iraq.  There will be folks coming home wet. This time  ... this time ...  let us welcome them back, into the home they helped keep dry, help them take off their wet uniforms, dry them off  ...  and Thank them for their service.

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, sipping on some Port and watching the evening news.  It is dark and cold outside but the fireplace is glowing ... most of Susan's "furry babies" are huddled around the fireplace sucking heat.  I have exchanged more emails with my daughter ... as is to be expected, there is much I don't know about her ... and she about me.  But the door is once again open and both of us are looking through it ... pensively.  Attended a meeting of the Jackson County Mediation Advisory Committee today, was a fruitful meeting, in that several issues were discussed that should make the mediation process more effective for both mediator and client. It is an amazing experience, to be in the company of persons so much brighter than I, have such greater insights, from both the therapist/mediator and attorney/mediator's point of view and then jointly, synthesizing a solution, (makes me wonder why they elected me Chairman of the committee???)   All is well at Ft Timmerman:  Susan is in Christmas mode, wrapping gifts while humming along to Christmas Carols.  Ft Timmerman even smells like Christmas.  The cats love the tree ... and Max, (Gluteus Maximus ... cause he is such a pain in the *ss) ... still thinks the tree is a support for one of his hind legs!!  Tonight, as I fall asleep holding the best partner a man can have, I will say a prayer for Susan and I, for you and our America .... and for our men and women in uniform, (Please, Please, Please, God, let them come out of the rain ... safe and soon!)   Be and sleep well ... your bed is dry.  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. 2004
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