Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant starred in the 1940 movie The Philadelphia Story. The movie was a happy feeling comedy based on divorce and remarriage; all’s well that ends well. The movie was set in Philadelphia and neither legal system failures nor anarchy were anywhere to be found. In the 1940 America of the movies and for those Americans usually depicted in the popular culture and news media of that era there was a symbiotic relationship between the powerful and the populace. But in today’s Philadelphia story of August 15, 2019 there is evidence of the current armed struggle for power among various factions and a lack of respect for the right to have opposing … [Read More...] about The New Philadelphia Story
Andrew Jackson was a notoriously bad speller. His response to the critics of his errors was not an effort to learn to be a better speller but to blame his critics. Jackson proclaimed, “It’s a damned weak mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.” Things have regressed from Jackson. According to communications expert, Carol Blymire, as reported via Twitter and broadcast by WIBC radio host Tony Katz on July 16, 2019 an attempt by an editor to correct a reporter’s spelling was just plain meanness according to the misspeller. Ms. Blymire related a reporter in her late 20’s had spelled the word hamster as ham(p)ster and her editor amended it. The reporter said she could spell it that … [Read More...] about Don’t Blame Me
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is generally regarded as a portrayal of the evils of America’s wealth-driven culture. I suggest it really was about Fitzgerald’s tumultuous marriage to his wife Zelda who constantly drove him crazy. When the book’s narrator, Nick Carraway, says about the wealthy Tom and Daisy Buchanan, “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me”, I submit Fitzgerald really has Zelda in mind for Daisy. And he is not referencing Daisy’s money but her infuriating ability to easily manipulate Jay Gatsby and, ergo, Zelda’s penchant to drive Fitzgerald over the edge. It is the institution of marriage, especially Fitzgerald’s complete inability … [Read More...] about Table Talk
Special Consul Robert Mueller testified before Congress on July 24, 2019. During his six hours of testimony before the House Judiciary Committee the major emphasis shifted from concerns about the outcome of the 2016 presidential election to attempts by foreign countries to influence all of our elections. Mueller testified that for many years and right up to our next election cycle in 2020 several foreign entities were involving themselves in our democracy. And while Mueller specified only Russia for 2016 he made it clear that we should be aware of other actors. Iran, Israel and even our first cousins the British, among numerous others, have sought to inveigle themselves into our … [Read More...] about Sticks And Stones
The Olduvai Gorge in Africa is accepted by many as the original birthplace of all human ancestors. The gorge is found on the Serengeti Plain in northern Tanzania. Archaeologists and paleontologists have spent many years researching our greater family tree since Dr. Louis Leakey and his wife, Mary, found the fossils the Leakeys opined were evidence of our oldest known ancestor. Competing evidence for human origins was discovered in the Afar Depression in Ethiopia on the continent of Africa by Donald Johanson, Yves Coppens and Maurice Taieb who named the humanoid bones they found “Lucy” and dated her at about three million years old. Regardless of what evidence one follows, virtually every … [Read More...] about From Olduvai To Everywhere
Peg and I and several members of the Redwine family were fortunate to have been included in last week’s New Harmony, Indiana Fourth of July Celebration. It was a community effort with fine music, an excellent reading of the Declaration of Independence by our friend and neighbor Chuck Minnette and copious amounts of hot dogs and ice cream. I was honored to be included as a speaker. Reporter and photographer Lois Mittino Gray of the Posey County News did an excellent job of capturing the essence of America’s Birthday celebration and I truly appreciated her kind remarks. I also understand how someone named Redwine who was born on the Osage Indian Nation in Pawhuska, Oklahoma and who wore an … [Read More...] about It Would Be An Honor, However …
America’s court system has several purposes but, in general, they all amount to resolving controversies. Citizens need some place to help them settle their differences with other citizens so everyone can get on with their lives. And one of the most important thing judges can do to start the resolution of a court case is to encourage the competing parties to find common ground. If the competing parties recognize they have similar needs and if all parties can at least consider the possibility that an outcome that benefits their adversary may also benefit themselves, a path leading to a reasonable compromise may appear. Our country has often struggled with competing strongly held beliefs even … [Read More...] about Every Month Has A Fourth
THANK YOU, NATHAN. AND THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE. BY THE WAY, YOU CAN RELAX AND RELY UPON THIS BEING A SHORT SPEECH, ALTHOUGH YOU MAY SAY NOT SHORT ENOUGH. YOU SEE, YOU HAVE AN INSURANCE POLICY AS SOME MEMBERS OF THE REDWINE FAMILY INSISTED ON ATTENDING TODAY TO MAKE SURE I DO NOT GO OVER MY ALLOTTED TWENTY MINUTES. WHEN MY SISTER AND OUR TWO BROTHERS AND I ALL SANG IN OUR CHURCH CHOIR, OUR MINISTER, REVEREND MAX WOLFE, WOULD SOMETIMES RATTLE ON AS THE CONGREGATION YEARNED FOR RELIEF. SO HIS DAUGHTER, JUDY, WHO WAS THE CHURCH ORGANIST WOULD ALLOW MAX TO GO ABOUT FIVE MINUTES LONG THEN SHE WOULD BEGIN SOFTLY PLAYING THE INTRODUCTION TO “THE DOXOLOGY”. THEREFORE, IF YOU HEAR MY FAMILY … [Read More...] about WHY AMERICANS ARE THE ONES SMILING (OR CONTROL MAKES ONE HAPPY)
When Jeanne and Nathan Maudlin as representatives of New Harmony, Indiana’s Working Men’s Institute that along with the University of Southern Indiana and the New Harmony Kiwanis Club is helping sponsor this year’s New Harmony Fourth of July celebration asked me to speak, my first thought was to research prior speeches. I am a judge after all and precedent is important to me. Jeanne graciously sent me a copy of the excellent book, New Harmony’s Fourth of July Tradition, by Donald Pitzer and Josephine Elliott. The book includes verbatim Fourth of July speeches given by Robert Owen (1826), William Owen (1827) and Frances (Mad Fanny) Wright (1828). Each talk contains observations and advice … [Read More...] about Ageless Wisdom
Aeschylus (c. 525-455 BC) is the earliest sage credited with the ironic observation that, “The first casualty of war is truth”. However, it does not require an ancient Greek playwright to point out such an obvious truism. Whatever the times, whichever the country and whoever the politicians, gossamer justifications for attacking other nations is de rigueur. Sixty thousand Americans were killed in the Vietnam War that was escalated by President Johnson from a failed CIA coup to a full blown war based on the false premise of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. President George W. Bush took America to war against Afghanistan and Iraq recklessly and wrongly alleging Iraq had “Weapons of Mass … [Read More...] about Gulf of Tonkin, Weapons of Mass Destruction or Tankers in the Persian Gulf, Each a First Casualty of War
When I want to take a walk I prefer my most comfortable pair of boots. When I want to return to a destination I choose the route I previously successfully traveled. Even when I mow my yard I normally approach the task the same way each time. Surprises are okay for birthdays and Christmas, but for almost everything else familiarity tends to work best if it is an option. So when the New Harmony, Indiana Working Men’s Institute asked me to speak this Fourth of July after the initial glow of pride the rush of trepidation led me to seek out shelter in time-tested material such as the following offerings. As most of the original authors have already received their “summonses to join that … [Read More...] about Name That Phrase
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Unanimous for Murder
Unanimous for Murder picks up where JUDGE LYNCH! left off. A gripping story of small town murder and judicial shenanigans on the western frontier when the western frontier was east of the Mississippi.
Echoes of Our Ancestors: The Secret Game
Jim’s new novel tells the exciting story of a long hidden but important football game that occurred between representatives of Haskell Indian Institute (now the Haskell Indian Nations University) and professionals from the then Kansas City Cowboys in 1924 at a secret location on the Osage Indian Nation near Pawhuska, Oklahoma - where Jim was born.
“Judge Lynch Holds Court!” That was the banner headline in a Posey County, Indiana newspaper after seven African American men were murdered by a white mob during October, 1878.
Gavel Gamut Greetings from JPeg Ranch
“Gavel Gamut Greetings" is an anthology of topical and historical selections mainly about regional events and personalities that have appeared in my weekly newspaper column, Gavel Gamut.