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

DECEMBER 26, 2003

The "Ramblings" are a series of emails sent, for the most part, on Friday night, to the Missouri Solo and Small Firm Internet Group, ("the List"),  listserve.    "The List" is a "support" group, a virtual "family", comprised of Missouri Solo and Small Firm Lawyers. It is not affiliated with the Missouri Bar Association: "the List"  is self governing and self moderating. Compiled here are the Ramblings for 2002 - 2003.  They contain my random thoughts and observations on current events and my life as a Solo Lawyer. 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  December 26, 2003.  On the front page of the Kansas City Star, on Tuesday, "Government Plans to Put Condom Dispensers in Public Buildings".  Seems there's an AIDS epidemic in Washington, DC  .... 119 cases for every 100,000 persons, (San Francisco, 67 cases per 100,000, New York, 64 per 100,000 and Kansas City, 9 per 100,000) and the government folks there, are installing 50 condom dispensers inside the most frequented government buildings.  Free condoms for all. The name of the program is "Abstinence Plus". I know we are getting screwed by our "elected representatives"  ......  but doesn't it make you feel good to know they endorse "safe sex", (even giving out 50,000 condoms to high school students in Washington, DC)? 

On Christmas Eve, watched 60 Minutes II ...  the show had a segment  about the
Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  An all volunteer choir, all Mormons in good standing, tithe 10% of their income, no drinking, no smoking, choir practice two evenings per week  ......  one great commitment to jointly made music, a commitment of service to each other, their religious beliefs/church ...  all 360 of them .... to sing with one united voice and what a voice it is!.  A "family" of strangers.  On December 24, 2003, the MoSFIG Listserve, (pronounced MossFig), was born.   hehehe  ... it isn't a choir and doesn't require such a commitment.  It is the home of  "the Friday Night Ramblings".  Should you wish to subscribe, the only commitment is that you share who you are, what is important to you and support fellow MoSFIGers.  The MoSFIG is the "virtual" home, "house", of the folks that read "the Ramblings", of a "family" of solo and small firm lawyers,  a place for Solo and Small Firm Lawyers to share what they have learned, share their lives, share their knowledge .... and share with "puppy sharks", how to do it right.   It is self regulating, self moderating, has no "chairman", no "committees", is NOT affiliated with the Missouri Bar Association and is open to any solo and small firm lawyer in Missouri. Should you just wish the Ramblings delivered to your "inbox", (instead of reading them on my webpage ) or just have a place to "hang out" among friends:  send me an email at karltimmerman@earthlink.net and I will add you to the list.

Susan and I have a pretty good music CD collection, (have a damn good DVD collection too).  We also have
Creative Labs Nomad MuV0 MP3 players.   Converting a song on a music CD to MP3 format is called "ripping", using "ripping" software, it is the process of taking a music CD file and compressing it, so instead of a CD holding only 20 songs, it can hold over 150 songs.  So you lay your money down to buy a CD that contains one song you really like.  You want to create your own CD containing the songs, from different artistes, you really like.  Is "ripping" a CD to create your own,  "fair use"?  Pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act , there is no question downloading/possessing pirated music from the Internet is illegal in the United States but not in Canada, (in Canada you can download files but can not upload them).  In spite of the Recording Industry Association of America's, (RIAA),  success in closing down Napster, their attempt to close down KaZaa  in the Netherlands was thrown out of Court by the Dutch.   For some reason, the Dutch don't believe they are subject to American law. Geez, guess them Norwegian folks also believe they are not subject to American law. "Norwegian authorities tried Jon Johansen on criminal charges for writing a software tool that can be used to overcome anti-copying technology built into most commercial DVDs. On Monday, an appeals court threw out the government's case, agreeing with a lower court that Johansen had done nothing wrong under Norwegian law." Under the DMCA, it is a crime to circumvent copy protection or to write software that can ......  but to rip some of my new CDs, I have to circumvent copy protection. " .... the fair Use doctrine is not a defence to the act of gaining unauthorized access to a work, the act of circumventing a technological measure in order to gain access is prohibited", Overview of Section 1201.  My MP3 player comes with software called "Creative Media Source Organizer" that allows me to "rip" my "protected" CD's and download the tracks to my player, yet RIAA folks have not targeted the folks that wrote the software .... just sued a 12 year old honor student for downloading files, (and settled the suit to avoid bad press).  This past week in RIAA v Verizon,   the RAII had their plow cleaned:  the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that they can not issue blanket subpoenas to ISPs in order to find out the names of folks who have uploaded MP3s, (on an interesting side note, Senator Brownback, (R-Kansas), introduced legislation to do the same thing) ... makes sense to me. How many RIAA lobbyists even know where Kansas is?  Bottom line ... think I would rather have our elected representatives debating, mulling over the important stuff ..... like where to put condom dispensers in our public buildings than debate and pass legislation dealing with cutting edge technology.  Oh  ....  and I consider "ripping" CD's I have purchased ..... "Fair Use".  'Nuff said.

Tonight marks the beginning of the seven days of
Kwanzaa.  Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday celebrated by African Americans.  It is based on African "first harvest celebrations", traceable all the way back to ancient Egypt.  The American version of  "matunda ya kwanza" was first celebrated on December 26, 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chair of the Department of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach.  Kwanzaa celebrates the nonreligious aspects of African heritage by reinforcing, on each of the seven days "... the Nguzo Saba (the Seven Principles.) These seven communitarian African values are: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). This stress on the Nguzo Saba was at the same time an emphasis on the importance of African communitarian values in general, which stress family, community and culture and speak to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense." Dr. Maulana Karenga.  To my African American friends and "family" members:  Happy Kwanzaa! :)

It is hard to put into perspective:  what do 20,000 people in one place look like?  According to the evening news, that many people may have lost their lives in Iran today.  An earthquake in the city of
Bam, Iran. My heart goes out to the victims and their families.  In spite of the fact that my America has no diplomatic relations with Iran, American relief efforts are under way. Doesn't that say it all? 'Nuff said.

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, sipping on some BBB and thinking about how lucky I am to do so, (there are too many folks who would give anything to be with their loved ones).  Spent yesterday and today playing with Christmas presents. (My parents gave me a Zwilling J.A. Henckels knife sharpener ... sharpened every knife in the house!!! :)  Susan bought me a
Panasonic DMC FZ10K, a 4 megapixel digital camera:  it has an image stabilized Leica F2.8, (across its complete Zoom range), 12X Optical Zoom, (35-420 mm). Really good glass!!!! Here is a sample photograph, of Samson, a black cat, shot with available light, (ceiling lamp), the camera hand held, ISO 100, 1/4 second exposure. Once I read the manual ... might even get better with it!!  Not as precious a gift as the one given to my dear friend, Ron B, by his son nor as precious a gift as my dear friends Paul H. and Susan D. putting together BeyBlades for their children:  there is nothing as precious as the giving of self. All is well at Ft Timmerman tonight, eating left over smoked turkey:  Susan fed the **&^ critters a little turkey as well, (they are all passed out :)  I'm down to 215 pounds, (from 242 pounds), "the Diet" works.  Life is good  ....  but it is good because of the sacrifices made by our fellow Americans, (like the men and women of Jewish faith who volunteered to stand in for the Christian volunteers at the "Ronald McDonald House", here in Kansas City, so they could spend Christmas with their families) and our men and women in uniform, civil and military, "too many folks who would give anything to be with their loved ones". . And "relief efforts are under way" to help those, that, not that long ago, held some of us captive and spit on our Flag  ....  yet, "relief efforts are under way".  Why would anyone NOT be proud to call themselves .... "An American"?  Tonight, as I drift off to sleep, holding the best partner a man can have, (and covered with her furry babies)  ....  I will say a prayer for Susan and I, for the lives lost today, for our men and women in uniform, (please Lord ... let them come home soon and safe), for my America and for you.  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.
A Warm Holiday Hug from Susan and I, to you and yours.
Karl (the dumb ole country lawyer from Holden, Missouri)