December 19, 2014

Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of December 19, 2014.   Hard to believe we are 5 days away from Christmas Eve:  another year has gone by.  Technology has evolved   …  from desk tops, to laptops, to tablets, to smart phones.  Language, what is permissible in polite company, has also evolved.  I can remember a time when saying “damn”, “shit” or “crap” was taboo    …  and the “F-bomb” was absolutely prohibited.  I remember the uproar over George Carlin – Usage Of The Word F*ck comedy routine.  Apparently, it’s use as an adjective has now become acceptable   …  if it’s use on Facebook is an indication of acceptance.  I guess I must be old fashioned.  I still find it’s use offensive.

Our British allies are also sending troops to battle ISIS:  (CNN) —  Hundreds of British troops going to Iraq, official says. “The United Kingdom will deploy hundreds of troops to Iraq in the coming year to train Iraqi and Kurdish forces — the country’s latest contribution to the fight against ISIS — British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon told The Telegraph newspaper. The British have participated in a multinational airstrike campaign against ISIS in Iraq for months, but sending troops to train Iraqis and Kurds increases Britain’s military involvement there. The United Kingdom hasn’t had a significant ground troop presence in Iraq since 2011, the same year the United States withdrew its forces following a 2003 invasion to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.”   Obama signed off this week on another 1,000 boots hitting the ground in Iraq as trainers and attached to front line units as FOB.s, (forward observers to call in and coordinate air strikes).  That raises the total number of American boots on the ground to over 3,000. Got news.  Because FOB’s are front line troops, they have to see the enemy to laser targets or call in coordinates  …  it is only a question of time before one of them falls. 

In other military news:  (BBC NEWS)  —  Canadian navy sailors face near-total alcohol ban. “Canada’s navy has imposed a near-total ban on its sailors from drinking while at sea. Previously, sailors were permitted to drink while off duty; now they will only be allowed to on special occasions at the captain’s discretion. The new measures come after a warship had to be recalled after incidents involving allegedly inebriated crew. The new restrictions bring the Canadian navy closer in line with the navies of the US, Britain and New Zealand.”  So  …  just what do you DO with a “drunken sailor  …  early in the morning.”

Medical news:  (BBC NEWS)  — Scientists make ‘feel full’ chemical. “Scientists have created a chemical that can be added to food to make people feel full.  Initial tests showed it helped people to eat less and slow weight gain.  It harnessed the power of a propionate, which naturally makes us feel full when it is produced by breaking down fiber in the gut  …  The tricky part of the research was finding a way to deliver the proprionate into the colon, where it triggers the release of hormones that control appetite.”  I have no doubt having to insert an anal suppository before you eat   …  will curb your appetite as well.

Only the British!!  London (CNN) —  ‘Face-sitting’ protest held over UK porn censorship law. “Visitors to the Houses of Parliament on Friday may have seen more than they bargained for. Protesters against new rules limiting online pornography gathered to simulate some of the now-banned sex acts, including “face-sitting.”  …  The new regulations, which came into force on December 1, ban various acts being depicted in online pornography produced in the United Kingdom, including face-sitting, female ejaculation and spanking, in part to protect children from being exposed to potentially harmful content.  However, they do not make it illegal for people to watch videos produced outside Britain or to perform the acts themselves.”  I like to think I’m a somewhat knowledgeable “adult” about sex   …  but  …  what in the world is “face sitting”?  So, you can do and watch this stuff if it is produced outside Britain?  So, it is less harmful to children, if it produced some other place?  [Footnote:  for an interesting overview of European pornography production and laws, by country …  CLICK HERE]

I have no doubt other species have abilities we don’t.  (BBC NEWS)  —  Birds ‘heard tornadoes coming’ and fled one day ahead. “US scientists say tracking data shows that five golden-winged warblers “evacuated” their nesting site one day before the April 2014 tornado outbreak. Geolocators showed the birds left the Appalachians and flew 700km (400 miles) south to the Gulf of Mexico. The next day, devastating storms swept across the south and central US.  Writing in the journal Current Biology, ecologists suggest these birds – and others – may sense such extreme events with their keen low-frequency hearing. Remarkably, the warblers had completed their seasonal migration just days earlier, settling down to nest after a 5,000km (3,100 mile) journey from Colombia.”  Geese use the earths magnetic differences to navigate.  Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and hearing.  Bats can echo-locate and whales use sonar to locate prey and navigate.  Kind of puts our species in it’s place   …  doesn’t it?

This is a blooming legal issue given how wide spread the Internet is.  (BBC NEWS)  —  Tech rivals join Microsoft in fight over US data demand. “Apple and eBay are among those supporting Microsoft’s stand against handing over data stored in Ireland to the US government.  One year ago, prosecutors issued a warrant for emails stored by Microsoft in an Irish data centre, in connection with a drug-related investigation.  The tech giant refused to comply but was ordered by a judge to hand over the information in July  …   The firm and its supporters argue that the centre in Dublin is outside US jurisdiction, while the prosecutors claim that as the data itself is accessible by the firm from within the US, this does not apply  …  “We believe that when one government wants to obtain email that is stored in another country, it needs to do so in a manner that respects existing domestic and international laws,” wrote Microsoft’s Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs   …  “In contrast, the US government’s unilateral use of a search warrant to reach email in another country puts both fundamental privacy rights and cordial international relations at risk.”   I agree with Microsoft.

Interesting quiz:  (BBC NEWS)  —  Booze calculator: What’s your drinking nationality? “In the month of December alcohol consumption increases as many people celebrate the festive season. But how does your drinking measure up to the average from countries around the world? Find out below if you are similar to a boozy Belarusian or a teetotal Kuwaiti.”  CLICK HERE. (Whispering)  —  I drink like I am from Haiti!!

Sitting here editing the Ramblings and listening to CNN.  Of course, in depth repetitive coverage of the Sony Hack   …  and an explanation why Sony caved, will not release “The Interview”   …  and the talking heads explaining why they should release the movie.  Go figure.  Now that I am nicotine free, given the lifting of the embargo on Cuba  …  I could legally buy Cuban Cigars!!!    Sunday Lunch and a Movie?  Pork Roast with baby peas and mashed potatoes.  The movie?  “Kung Fu Jungle [2014]”

Time to post these Ramblings and settle in for a quiet evening at Ft Timmerman.  Later when I say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life and Susan to share them with   …  I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?)  Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize  …  that is certainly not my intent.  And yes, I remain  nicotine free, 663 days,  35,849 ciggybutts not smoked  …  and $5,825 saved.  As always  …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   … and the Editorial Staff)

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December 12, 2014

Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of December 12, 2014.   From the December 13, 2013 Friday Night Ramblings.:  “Received my Bar Dues bill in the mail this week.  $410.00.  Article V, Section 5, Missouri Constitution:  “The supreme court may establish rules relating to practice, procedure and pleading for all courts and administrative tribunals, which shall have the force and effect of law. The rules shall not change substantive rights, or the law relating to evidence, the oral examination of witnesses, juries, the right of trial by jury, or the right of appeal. The court shall publish the rules and fix the day on which they take effect, but no rule shall take effect before six months after its publication. Any rule may be annulled or amended in whole or in part by a law limited to the purpose.”  So share with me   …  since the dues increase has not been published for 6 months   …  by what authority has a dues increase gone into effect before the constitutionally mandated 6 months have elapsed?  How is collecting a $50.00 tax from every practicing lawyer in the State, to fund a privately held 501(c)(3)   … a rule relating to practice, procedure and pleading?  And that leads to the underlying question:   when the folks tasked with enforcing the rule of law, refuse to do so   …  what is an aggrieved party to do?  Perhaps it is time to bring a federal action.”   And of course   …  nothing happened.  Protest letters were ignored  …  and my Bar Dues bill, which arrived this week  …  was for $410.00. Our “Personal Property Tax” bill came in as well.  Over $2,000.00. When it comes to taxes and assessments   …  the skinniest horse really does have the most flies.

Makes me feel old!!!  (CNN) —  28 Internet acronyms every parent should know. “If you think you are tech savvy all because you know what “LOL” means, let me test your coolness. Any idea what “IWSN” stands for in Internet slang? It’s a declarative statement: I want sex now. If it makes you feel any better, I had no clue, and neither did a number of women I asked about it  …  So “LMK” — let me know — and “WYCM” — will you call me? — are innocent enough. But the issue, especially for parents, is understanding the slang that could signal some dangerous teen behavior, such as “GNOC,'” which means “get naked on camera.” 

  1. IWSN – I want sex now                               2.GNOC – Get naked on camera
  2. NIFOC – Naked in front of computer           4. PIR – Parent in room
  3. 5 CU46 – See you for sex                           6. 53X – Sex
  4. 9 – Parent watching                                     8. 99 – Parent gone
  5. 1174′ – Party meeting place                       10.THOT – That hoe over there
  6. CID – Acid (the drug)                                  12. Broken – Hungover from alcohol
  7. 420 – Marijuana                                         14. POS – Parent over shoulder
  8. SUGARPIC – Suggestive or erotic photo   16. KOTL – Kiss on the lips
  9. (L)MIRL - Let’s meet in real life                  18. PRON – Porn
  10. TDTM – Talk dirty to me                              20. 8 – Oral sex
  11. CD9 – Parents around/Code 9                    22. IPN – I’m posting naked
  12. LH6 – Let’s have sex                                   24. WTTP – Want to trade pictures?
  13. DOC – Drug of choice                                  26. TWD – Texting while driving
  14. GYPO – Get your pants off                          28. KPC- Keeping parents clueless

Having been involved in a “rescue”, (took in/re-homed older dogs when their owners went into a nursing home), this is something Susan and I truly believe.  (FOX4KC.COM)  —  Pope declares animals will be in heaven. “Pope Francis has once again made people smile and received many “likes” when he declared last week in St. Peter’s Square that all animals go to heaven. Animal lovers who have lost a beloved pet have been consoled and appreciative  …  In the article they cited different reasons for their beliefs, including the scripture from Isaiah 11:6, which speaks of heaven:  “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.”   Judy Haushahn was the founder of “7 Bells Sanctuary”, and Susan’s partner in the rescue.  Befor she passed away, Susan and I agreed to take care of Little Hans, her beloved Dachshund   …  and when he passed  …  to sprinkle is ashes over her grave.  I did.

So, how many people did fundamentalist Christians, Buddhists, Hindu’s or Devil Worshipers kill in November?  (BBC NEWS)  —  Jihadism: Tracking a month of deadly attacks. “Jihadist attacks killed more than 5,000 people in just one month, an investigation by the BBC World Service and King’s College London has found.  Civilians bore the brunt of the violence, with more than 2,000 killed in reported jihadist incidents during November 2014. Islamic State carried out the most attacks, adding to the spiraling death toll in Iraq and Syria. Explore the map to find out more.”  In 30 days and 14 countries, there were 664 Jihadist attacks resulting in 5,042 deaths  …   most civilians.  If there is in fact a “crusade” as claimed by the Islamists   …  it is a “crusade” waged by Islamists against any entity which does not adhere to its perverted interpretation of Islam.  Share with me   …  why is the media focused on protests about the death of two black individuals at the hands of two white police officers   …  instead of the THOUSANDS of African Americans killed each year by fellow African Americans   …  or the THOUSANDS being killed in the Middle East? Do not resist arrest. I have shared with my clients over the years   …  that when I get stopped by a cop, sitting on the seat nest to me, is a whole bagful of “Yes, sirs”   …  and “No Sirs”.  I am in his/her court.  When the same cop appears for trial   … if you look carefully, you can see that he/she is also carrying  a bag of “Yes, sirs” and “No, sirs”.  Now he/she is on my court.

A really interesting article about beer!  (BCC NEWS)  —  The secret world of… beer.  “It’s a drink that’s been with us for millennia. But how has science shaped today’s pints? Chris Baraniuk discovers a world of secret yeasts, strange brews and ‘glass widgets’.”    Well worth the read, (and I am probably one of the few Germans alive, who doesn’t like beer)!

I did not know, Foxes are not “companion animals”.  (BBC NEWS)  — Australian foxes are pests not pets, NSW declares. “Foxes have been officially declared a pest in New South Wales but there is concern people are taking them as pets. The NSW government has for the first time announced a pest control order for foxes, which are not native to Australia. The order will make it easier for local land services to target foxes and to control who keeps them in captivity   …   “Foxes are not companion animals – this pest control order sends the clear message that they are pests, not pets,” she said.”   Not something Disney would want to hear.  Remember “Fox and the Hound”, (the link is to the complete movie on YouTube). We have a couple of relatively tame foxes that live in Holden, (the 4 legged kind  …  although there are also some 2 legged foxes!)

Sitting here Editing these Ramblings and waiting for Susan to come home.  She is working until 7:00 pm today   …  10:00 to 6:00 tomorrow.  The dogs are clustered around the pellet stove, sucking up heat.  Looking forward to working on an image and watching a new episode of “Blue Bloods” , this evening.  I remain nicotine free, (656 days, 35,469 ciggybutts not smoked and $5,783.00 saved).   Sunday lunch and a Movie?  A Timmerrub, Crockpot Pork Roast, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob.  The movie?  “Horrible Bosses 2 [2014]”.  Later when I say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life and Susan to share them with, I will say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform.  Care to join me?  Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation is on watch so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize.  That is not my intent.  As always   …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …  and the Editorial Staff).

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December 5, 2014

Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of December 5, 2014.  A guy goes into his Doctor’s office and complains: “Doc, every time I take a drink of coffee … I get a searing pain in my left or right eye!!”. The Doc looking at him smiles and says: “Take the spoon out of the cup.” That’s what you and I do … as lawyers.  Share with folks … how to take the spoon out of the cup. I like to think … I’m pretty good at doing so!!

And speaking of self inflicted pain?  (BBC NEWS)  —  ‘Revenge porn’ Facebook post leads to jail sentence. “A man has been jailed after breaking a “revenge porn” law introduced in California last October.  Noe Iniguez posted a photograph of his ex-girlfriend naked to her employer’s Facebook page alongside derogatory comments. The 36-year-old is the first person to be convicted under the new law. Twelve US states have enacted revenge porn laws over the past two years.” Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  I did not know how many cases there were:  “Several well-known revenge porn websites, including IsAnyoneUp and the Texxxan, have been taken down in response to actual or threatened legal action.  The former was investigated by the FBI after anti-revenge porn activist Charlotte Laws uncovered a hacking scheme associated with the website. Indictments were handed down in January 2014 for the site owner and his accomplices, and the trial is set to begin in November 2014 in Los Angeles.  In December 2013, California Attorney General Kamala Harris charged Kevin Bollaert, who ran the revenge porn website UGotPosted, with 31 felony counts, including extortion and identity theft.  In this case, a court in Ohio awarded damages against the California man of $385,000 since the victim was under eighteen years old; Bollaert may face time in prison.  Hunter Moore, the founder of porn website IsAnyoneUp, was indicted on fifteen felony counts in January 2014, including conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, an anti-hacking statute;  according to FBI charges, Moore paid a computer hacker to extract explicit images for his now-defunct website.”  This is just plain stupid.

More stupid:  DELAND, Fla. (AP)  —   Jason Puckett Caught Slipping Cow Tongue Into Pants: Cops.  “Police in Florida say a Wal-Mart shopper denied slipping $35 worth of beef tongue into his pants, but the telltale tongue told a different story.  DeLand police say 44-year-old Jason Puckett was charged last week with misdemeanor theft after a Wal-Mart security guard spotted him slipping two packages of tongue into his waistband.  When the guard confronted Puckett at the store’s exit, Puckett denied stealing the packages and said he had put them back on a shelf.  But the guard told authorities Puckett then removed the tongue from his pants when he didn’t think he was being watched and ran from the store.”  Frankly, stuffing beef tongues in your shorts sounds   …  really kinky!!  If he does time   …  I suppose he will learn some new penal skills. 

Wonderful medical news:  (BBC NEWS)  —  Drug can repair spinal cord injuries, study shows. “A drug that can encourage nerves in the spinal cord to grow and repair injuries has been developed by US scientists.  The study on rats, published in the journal Nature, showed some degree of movement and bladder control could be restored. The drug works by disrupting the “sticky glue” that prevents nerve cells from growing during an injury. Further tests still need to take place, but the charity Spinal Research said “real progress” was being made.”  This is just the beginning research which would be a God Send for some of our wounded warriors!

The joys of a unisex bathroom:  Washington (CNN) —  Submarine investigation under way after female officers filmed. “Navy criminal investigators are looking into who secretly filmed female officers of a submarine crew while they were showering and changing clothes aboard the boat’s unisex bathrooms, a U.S. Navy official confirms to CNN. An incident report filed with the Navy last month alleges at least three female officers were videotaped at various times over a year long period. The recordings might then have been distributed to some members of the crew.”  This happened aboard the USS Wyoming (SSBN-742), 560 feet long, with a crew of 15 officers and 140 enlisted. It carries MK-48 torpedoes and 24 Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles.   Women started serving on Wyoming in December 2011.  As a practical matter, due to space limitations, on board submarines, when women are using bathroom facilities,  a sign is posted that the area is in use by females.  There obviously was a learning curve in integrating female crew members.  Rumor has it, that initially the sign that the facilities were in use by a female   …   was a bra hung over the door knob.  That didn’t last long   …  the bras kept disappearing.  My Dear Friend Jim Byrne was a submariner.

Several years ago, after an MRI at the Lees Summit hospital, (I have had two using private insurance,  BCBS —  $2,400.00  out of pocket cost, for each), I was diagnosed with an Acoustic Neuroma.  “Acoustic neuromas — sometimes called vestibular schwannomas or neurolemmomas — usually grow slowly over a period of years. Although they do not actually invade the brain, they can push on it as they grow. Larger tumors can press on nearby cranial nerves that control the muscles of facial expression and sensation. If tumors become large enough to press on the brain stem or cerebellum, they can be deadly.”  As a result, I have a yearly MRI to monitor it’s growth.  My third MRI, last year, was at the VA.  Out of pocket cost?  $59.00.  But more important, folks at the VA discovered scar tissue from a stroke I had   …  which explained the mild aphasia I had been experiencing.  (BBC NEWS)  —  Brain scans ‘can predict risk’ even after mild stroke. “All patients should be given a brain scan after a stroke, even if it is a mini-stroke, say Canadian researchers writing in the journal Stroke. This is because images of the brain can help doctors assess the damage done and predict the risk of another stroke occurring. In the UK, guidelines recommend urgent treatment of high-risk stroke patients. But the Stroke Association says thousands of lives could be saved by treating mini-strokes within 24 hours.”  I had another MRI done today at the VA.  No evidence of any other strokes. The tumor has grown, pinching off my ability to hear on my right side   …  but it is not big enough yet to risk surgery, (potentially the loss of the use of my facial muscles).  The good news?  When Susan and I take a trip   …  I can’t hear a word she is saying!!

Sitting here editing these Ramblings and waiting for Susan to get home.  The Editorial Staff hunkered down in front of the pellet stove.  On CNN, in depth coverage of the metastasized Ferguson protests.  Time to post these Ramblings and settle in for a quiet weekend at Ft Timmerman.  With out a doubt, Susan and I will be “Stinkie Beasties” this weekend, (what you call two people, who do not take off their PJ’s, take a shower   …  just wash their faces and brush their teeth   …  and lay around the house.)  Sunday lunch and a movie?  Rosemary pork roast, mashed potatoes and baby peas.  The movie?  “22 Jump Street [2014]”.  I remain nicotine free!!  Later when I say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life and Susan to share them with, I will say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform.  Care to join me?  Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation is on watch so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize.  That is not my intent.  As always   …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri  …  and the Editorial Staff.)

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November 28, 2014

Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of November 28, 2014.   On Monday, the Grand Jury in Ferguson elected not to indict Officer Wilson.  Like Martin vs. Zimmerman,  this case has been tried on the press. Some folks reached conclusions based on innuendo, leaked testimony and a need to justify/blame their discontent and personal failure on “the man”, racism.  Folks conditioned to view themselves as “victims” did interpret “the facts” to conform with and ratify their world view:  believe they remain oppressed  …  rather than admit, they have done NOTHING to better their life positions, after how many years of “Affirmative Action”?  Takers.  Most interesting to me, the lines are … sadly, for the most part, drawn along racial and political, (liberal vs. conservative), lines. Polarized.  Are there bad cops who bully? WITHOUT A DOUBT! Are there good cops who over-react, based on fear? Also WITHOUT A DOUBT! Cops are human beings who feel a need to serve, (the vast majority in my experience)    …  or dominate others, (a sick few who need to be weeded out  …  and eventually are).  Shouldn’t we take each case/accusation on an individual basis?  That said, switching gears   …  share with me   …  as a society, didn’t we abandon “lynching’s” in favor of the rule of law?  Wasn’t that the role of the Grand Jury in this case?  In my opinion, the prosecutor could not/did not form an opinion to prosecute  …  and elected to have that decision made by a Grand Jury.  His choice.  A good one.  Present ALL OF THE EVIDENCE to 12 persons, who had the ability to review the evidence AND ASK QUESTIONS, decide whether there was “probable cause” to believe a crime had been committed   …  or not.  They did reach a conclusion.  No probable cause.

Fact remains … this case is about the “state of mind” of Officer Wilson when he fired at Michael Brown, killing him.   Was the killing justifiable, in “Self Defense”?  For a “self defense”, defense, Missouri doesn’t have an objective standard, (not a “reasonable man” standard), but a subjective standard.  Was the individual in eminent fear of significant physical harm.  Officer Wilson is 6’2” tall and weighs 210 pounds.  Michael Brown was 6’6” tall and weighed 298 pounds.  Physical evidence supported Officer Wilson’s contention that Michael Brown assaulted him while he was in his police car, (bruises on Wilson’s face), and that Wilson tried to get his gun, resulting in 2 shots being fired in the car, one striking Brown’s thumb, (Brown’s blood was found in the car and on Wilsons gun).  Brown then ran away. Wilson got out of his vehicle and ordered Brown to get on the ground. According to Wilson, Brown turned around and charged him  …  he fired because he was afraid of eminent personal harm.  The Grand Jury believed him.  The physical evidence supports that.

Seems to me, there are folks who want to create/contribute, voice their legitimate concerns and effectuate change   …   and there are folks who want to take/destroy and use expressing concerns as a cloak to burn and loot.  The latter succeeded.  Business damaged Monday night in Ferguson:  “St. Louis Fish & Chicken Grill, Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, Beauty Mart, A.J. & R. Pawn   Shop, Walgreens, FedEx, Cakes and More [Natalie DuBose’s store], JC Wireless, AT&T, STL Bread Company, Conoco, Auto Buy Credit, Phillips 66, McDonald’s, Red’s Barbecue, Taco Bell, CVS, Beauty Town, Little Caesar’s, Ferguson Liquor, Public Storage, Sam’s Meat Market, Medicine Shop, Commerce Bank, Auto Zone, Toys R Us, Amoco, Quiznos, Dellwood Market, Chop Suey restaurant, TitleMax, Antonio French’s Heal Stl Community Center.”   So   …  how many people lost their businesses and how many lost their livelihood, their jobs?  How about justice for them?  Will there be Federal Compensation, (low interest loans), after our Governor declares Ferguson a “Disaster Zone”?  I don’t have a dog in this hunt.  But I do know this:  “Want to protest in Holden?  Want to riot?  Try to burn or loot?    …  bring a body bag.  Folks in Holden will not provide you one.”

This is not the America I swore allegiance to in 1965 when I became a “Legal Alien”, (became a Naturalized Citizen).  This is not the America I served as a 12B, (artillery),  in the Army.  There was NO sense of “entitlement” in the 60’s   …  until President Johnson declared a “War On Poverty” and established the “Great Society”, (1964 – 1966).   The result?  “War on Poverty: forty programs that were intended to eliminate poverty by improving living conditions and enabling people to lift themselves out of the cycle of poverty. Education: sixty separate bills that provided for new and better-equipped classrooms, minority scholarships, and low-interest student loans. Medicare & Medicaid: guaranteed health care to every American over sixty-five.  The Environment: introduced measures to reclaim our heritage of clean air and water.  National Endowment for the Arts and the Humanities: created with the philosophy that artists, performers, and writers were a priceless part of our heritage and deserve support.  Job Corps: provided enabling skills for young men and women.  Head Start: program for four- and five-year-old children from disadvantaged families that gave them a chance to start school on an even basis with other youngsters.”  Government stepped into the shoes of privately funded charitable programs.  It shifted from neighbors helping neighbors  …   to a whole series of entitlement programs.  So now we have 3 generations of folk who view Section 8 housing, Food Stamps, Medicaid, Earned Income Credit and TANIF as a way of life.  I have NO PROBLEM with helping folks who need a helping hand while they work to improve themselves/temporary help   …  I have a real problem with folks who view these programs as something they are entitled to  …  as a way of life.

I have macular degeneration in my right eye and have received Avastin and Lucentis shots. (BCC NEWS)  —  Eye specialists call for NHS to use Avastin. “A drug that prevents elderly people losing their sight should be routinely available on the NHS, says the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.  Avastin has been found in clinical trials to be safe and effective for patients with wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a major cause of sight loss in older people.”  In both cases it is a direct shot in the eye.  Frightening when you think about it   …  but it really isn’t that bad.  The eye is numbed and the shot administered from the side.  You don’t see a needle  …  only the medication as it is injected in the eye:  sorta of like the floating lumps in a 60’s “Lava Lamp”, (does that example show my age or what?)

Russian bears in the Ukraine:    (BBC NEWS)  —  Brown bears return to Chernobyl after a century away. “Scientists have captured what is believed to be the first photographic evidence of brown bears within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ).  Camera traps, used by a project assessing radioactive exposure impacts on wildlife, recorded the images.  Brown bears had not been seen in the area for more than a century, although there had been signs of their presence.” Chernobyl is in the Ukraine  …   the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster occurred in 1986 effectively making a 19 mile area around the power plant uninhabitable. “Even today, radiation levels are so high that the workers responsible for rebuilding the sarcophagus are only allowed to work five hours a day for one month before taking 15 days of rest.”  It will remain so for another 20, 000 years.  Interesting that a large mammal such as a bear can survive, given the radiation levels.  Course, they are easy to see after dark   …  they have a very pleasant bluish glow.

Sitting here editing these Ramblings and getting ready to capture some images of Holden’s Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. Yes.  Folks here in Holden call it a “Christmas Tree”.  Local merchants have spent significant periods of time decorating their shop windows   …  and of course   …  Santa Clause will make an appearance   …  there will be a hay wagon/trolley ride for the kiddos.  They are showing the movie “Frozen” at the community center.  A changing of the seasons in small town Missouri.  Have Thanksgiving leftovers, so no need to cook lunch for “Lunch and a Movie” on Sunday.  The movie?  “Fury [2014]”.  Later, when I say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life   …  I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform.  Care to join me?  Be and sleep well   …  the best we have as a national are on watch, so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize.  That is not my intent.  As always   …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT  (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri  …  and the Editorial Staff.)

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November 21, 2014

Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of November 21, 2014.  (The thing about the Ramblings some folks may not appreciate, understand  …  EVERY entry/comment has a link to the underlying story/documentation.  Click on/follow the links.  :) )  We will celebrate Thanks Giving, this coming Thursday.  Hard to believe another year has slipped by.   For Thanks Giving, we buy a 12 – 14 pound turkey and have it cut in half.  I cook ½ at Thanks Giving and the other half at Christmas.  This year we purchased 10 turkeys at Yoss, (our local grocery store for less than $100.00), had them cut in half and had Yoss donate them to St Patricks Food Pantry   …  20 families in Holden will enjoy a turkey dinner.  We get them at cost for cash, no sales tax and Yoss gets the charitable deduction. A “Win/Win” for everyone.

The UK immigration news:  (BBC NEWS)  —  Beavers on River Otter in Devon could stay free. “Beavers living on the River Otter in Devon could be allowed to remain in the wild if free of disease. The government had intended to capture six beavers, test for disease and re-home them in captivity. It is unclear where the beavers came from, but campaigners say they should be allowed to stay. The government has now indicated that the beavers could be tested near the river and released if disease-free. In October, environmental charity Friends of the Earth, launched a legal challenge over the government’s claim that the beavers were non-native, could be diseased, and should be removed  …  It is believed the group, including three juveniles born this year, are the only wild beavers in England.”  Domestic beavers tend to be somewhat tame, mundane. That said, beaver transmitted diseases are a problem in the UK.  Most beavers come from Eastern Europe   …  transported by the Russian Mafia.  Their tail remains highly prized.

In other science news?  (BBC NEWS)  —  One kiss ‘shares 80 million bugs’. “A single 10-second kiss can transfer as many as 80 million bacteria, according to Dutch scientists.  They monitored the kissing behavior of 21 couples and found those who kissed nine times a day were most likely to share salivary bugs. Studies suggest the mouth is home to more than 700 different types of bacteria – but the report reveals some are exchanged more easily than others.  The research is published in the journal Microbiome.”  Rather than kissing   …  Eskimos show affection by rubbing noses.  Unfortunately   …  that makes them susceptible to Snyphilis.

Hard to believe:  animal rapists.  (DISCOVERY NEWS)  —   Fur Seal Sex With Penguin: Why Does It Happen? “Antarctic fur seal males have been seen forcing themselves on king penguins multiple times in shocking sexual acts that are radically changing the way animal experts attempt to explain such seemingly bizarre behavior. At first it was thought that sex between animals of different species was a colossal error — a result, maybe, of mistaken identity. The occurrences of male seals raping penguins, documented in the latest issue of the journal Polar Biology, suggest otherwise.”  Penguins are birds. And the “YUK news”? “Most birds do not have the same reproductive body parts as mammals. Instead, both male and female birds have a cloaca – one opening (also called the vent) that serves as the bodily exit for their digestive, urinary and reproductive systems. This means that the same opening that excretes feces and urine is where eggs are laid.”  Don’t think I will look at eggs the same way, in the future.  Will definitely make sure they are well washed/clean   …  may spray them with Lysol!  On the other hand,  “some bird species, most notably several species of swans, geese and ducks, do not have simple cloacas, but instead male birds have an actual phallus (penis) that is inserted into the female during mating. The penis is formed by an extension of the cloacal wall, and unlike mammals, is erected by lymph rather than blood. Having a penis helps different types of waterfowl mate in the water without the sperm washing away. Several other bird species, including cassowaries, kiwis and ostriches, also have penises rather than cloacas  …”  Ok. As big as Ostriches are   …  I wonder   …  are they the  John Holmes of the avian world? As for the rapist seals?  No doubt, it is all Bushes fault   …  and due to “Global Warming”.

Other news out of the middle east. (BBC NEWS)  —  Muslims found Americas before Columbus says Turkey’s Erdogan. “Muslims discovered the Americas more than three centuries before Christopher Columbus, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.  He made the claim during a conference of Latin American Muslim leaders in Istanbul, pointing to a diary entry in which Columbus mentioned a mosque on a hill in Cuba.  Mr Erdogan also said “Muslim sailors arrived in America in 1178″.  Seems like everybody and their brother discovered the America’s.  In chronological order?  Eurasians, (native Americans). Chinese. Muslims. Vikings  …  and Italians, (Columbus).

For those of us contemplating retirement.  (CNN MONEY)  —  Forget Florida. The best cities for retirees. “Sure, spending your golden years on a beach in Florida sounds like a great idea, but that’s not going to cut it for many of today’s retirees. Seniors are living longer, craving more fulfilling lifestyles and working well into their retirement years and that has upended traditional notions of where — and when — we should retire, according to the Milken Institute’s Best Cities for Successful Aging report.”  The top 5 cities?  Madison, Wisc. Omaha, Neb. Provo, Utah. Boston, Mass  …  and  …  Salt Lake City, Utah. Interesting, that two of the highest rated cities are in Utah.

And the right Reverend Sharpton, champion of the poor:  (CNN) —  Report: Al Sharpton owes $4.5 million in unpaid taxes. “Civil rights leader and MSNBC host Al Sharpton and his for-profit business owe more than $4.5 million in current state and federal taxes, according to a New York Times report out Tuesday. His tax liabilities come despite making a hefty salary, and he and his nonprofit advocacy organization, National Action Network, have been missing payments to hotels, landlords and travel agencies, the report says.”   When confronted   …  Sharpton blamed racists at the IRS for his lack of income tax payment.  He is making payments now, using funds donated to his “not-for-profit”, “National Action Network”, (which paid him $241,402 plus personal expenses in 2011).  “The United States and the New York State governments have investigated the organization for tax payment irregularities. As late as 2006 (the most recent year for which documents are available), the National Action Network owes $1.9 million in payroll taxes and penalties. Recently, many donors to the National Action Network have been subpoenaed as part of the probe, including Anheuser-Busch.”  Some “talk the talk” and others “walk the walk”.

In the WWJD, (What Would Jesus Do), news:  (BBC NEWS)  — #BBCtrending: #PhillyJesus is a star online and on the street. “Michael Grant is 28 years old and for the last seven months he has been walking through the streets of Philadelphia dressed up like Jesus.  Jesus, though, never carried a smart phone: Mr Grant has over 5,000 followers on his @PhillyJesus instagram account and has become a local celebrity.  Mr Grant can’t walk a single block without being stopped by fans, who want a selfie with him. This Saturday he was arrested in the city’s Love Park for soliciting tips.”   One should never “solicit tips” in a place called “Love Park”.

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, waiting for Susan to make it home.  The Editorial Staff hunkered down by the door waiting for her.  On CNN, talking heads discussing Obama’s amnesty announcement.  Tensions running very high in Ferguson, Missouri, with speculation that the grand jury’s verdict will be released on SundayNo nuke deal with Iran.  Been a sad week.  “Max”, our oldest rescued family member, (a Yorkie),  passed away on Monday.  He was 16 – 17 years old.  My Dear Friend,  David Browning, (the founder of the Solo and Small Firm Internet Group in 1996 after the Solo and Small Firm Conference), passed away yesterday.  He had been in failing health for awhile. His wit, sense of humor and advocacy for Solo and Small Firm Lawyers, will be missed.

Time to post these Ramblings and settle in for a quiet weekend at Ft Timmerman.  I remain nicotine free, (635 days, 34,335 ciggybutts not smoked and $5,579.00 saved).  Sunday Lunch and a Movie?  Garden salad, sautéed Pork Chops, mashed potatoes and baby peas.  The movie?  “The Other Woman [2014]”  Later when I say my Thank You’s, I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform.  Care to join me?  Be and sleep well, the best we have as a nation are on watch   …  so you can. If my post offends, I apologize.  That is not my intent.  As always  …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …  and the Editorial Staff

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