Peg’s recent, and successful, hip surgery has been a rewarding experience, for me. I have learned much and feel an almost female need to share. About half of the human race pretty much already knows what has been recently revealed to me but the testosterone half may profit from my force-fed lessons. Okay, class, let’s begin to lift the veil. Wives might be upset if husbands are made aware that the arcane lore of traditional house hold tasks need no longer be shrouded in mystery, But husbands have a right to know there may be more than one way to clean a house. Just as the insane strictures of military basic training have proven to have no relationship to national defense, much of what many … [Read More...] about Helpful Hints for Husbands
People may come in various varieties but I suggest there are only two types: (1) those who think up projects; and, (2) those who have to do the work. In marriages the lines are clear. Someone cooks the meals; someone helps eat the meals. Someone dirties the clothes; someone washes the clothes. Someone decides flower or shrubs or vegetables must be planted and someone digs the holes. We could go on but I am confident you agree with my general concept. I am aware there are those readers who would get deeper into the weeds of this ancient dynamic. For example, I can hear Peg offering the following division of labors: someone cleans the house while someone watches football or someone goes … [Read More...] about Abandon All Hope
President Lincoln reportedly used to occasionally sit on the back steps of the White House and talk to old friends who might just drop by. President Truman used to play poker at his Key West, Florida White House with ordinary folks. President Jackson invited the hoi polloi to his inauguration and they came and trashed the White House. There was a time America’s leaders thought of Americans as equals, or at least not as persona non grata. Now there are fences and armed guards at the White House and the only time a president makes personal contact with Americans is to have a photo op. Democracy is now pretty much non-democratic. Our politicians often ascribe the responsibility for this … [Read More...] about Distancing
In response to both the states of Indiana and Oklahoma’s CLE requirements I am currently engaged in a forty-hour online Mediation course presented by the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada. I may subject you, Gentle Reader, to the exciting content of this course before long. Hey, why should I have all the fun alone. But for this week I thought you might prefer another of those true courtroom dramas such as the one presented in last week’s column about my service as a prosecuting attorney that helped keep me from falling too deeply into the Black Robe Syndrome. The case that today’s column is about occurred about 25 years ago in front of me in the Posey County, Indiana Circuit Court. … [Read More...] about The Cure for Black Robe Fever
American soldiers stationed in Germany picked up the German saying “Macht nichts” and anglicized it to Mox Nix. Either way it means, it doesn’t matter, kind of short hand for don’t sweat the small stuff. If you read the Gavel Gamut entitled “Wheat from the Chaff” you might recall the general topic involved the American legal system’s treatment of high-profile cases such as the George Floyd/Derek Chauvin matter. Judge Cahill in that Minnesota jury trial was faced with several issues related to publicity about the case. The judge was asked to change the venue of the jury trial out of Hennepin County, MN; he refused. The judge was asked to sequester the jury; he refused. And he was asked to … [Read More...] about Mox Nix
“If a woman’s just a woman but a good cigar’s a smoke” (Rudyard Kipling), football’s just a game but baseball’s who we are. Or, as my friend and favorite song writer, Randy Pease, sang about baseball (and life), “Maybe I should quit but that’s a hard thing to admit, God, I love this game.” Randy honed his musical skills when he took a break from his studies at Oklahoma State University where I also found pursuits other than the prescribed curricula. Another Cowboy that Randy occasionally played guitars and sang with in Stillwater, Oklahoma was a songwriter named Garth Brooks who also loved baseball. I wonder if he ever made the big leagues? For as Garth, Randy and the rest of us frustrated … [Read More...] about Baseball vs. Football
The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been Committed ….” Our Declaration of Independence raised these issues and complained of King George III: “For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by Jury; (and) For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offenses.” The Book of Matthew uses the example of separating edible wheat from its husks as an analogy about dividing the good from the bad. In our legal system we almost always assign this task to judges with probably less … [Read More...] about The Wheat From The Chaff
Gentle Reader, should you have read last week’s Gavel Gamut you may recall that another reader, Dr. Michael Jordan of Osage County, Oklahoma, sent a letter to the editor asking that I address the topic of immigration. No, I do not know why, but after a couple of minutes of reflection I thought, “Why not?” So here goes. Our current immigration mess should not be any more challenging than Winston Churchill’s view of the old Soviet Union that he called, “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”. A few quick paragraphs ought to suffice. Let’s start back in the 1960’s when our national immigration policy began to gradually change from one based on admitting immigrants based on … [Read More...] about One Game At A Time
The great Greek philosopher Hippocrates (460-370 BC), balanced the art of healing with scientific observation. His most famous admonition was to, “first do no harm”. Plato (429?-347 BC) was a contemporary of Hippocrates in that blazing caldron of brilliance of ancient Greece. Plato balanced the art of legal philosophy with observations on the law such as what Socrates (470-399 BC) told his jury, “The jury (or a judge) does not sit to dispense justice as a favor, but to decide where justice lies”. Dr. Michael Jordan is a disciple of Hippocrates who lives near JPeg Osage Ranch on a similarly sandstone-studded tor and occasionally shares his prescient observations on life via letters to the … [Read More...] about The Arts of Medicine and Law
President Joe Biden held his first news conference in the White House East Room on 25 March 2021. Twenty-five reporters were allowed to attend; the President took questions from eleven of them. The news conference lasted one hour. Each reporter began their questions as follows: “Mr. President”. Is not the Presidency of the United States prestigious enough? How about “President”? We do not say Mr. Judge, Ms. Senator or Mr. Congressman. Mr. President sounds like a relic from the days our mothers would begin their scoldings of their young children with, “Now listen here, Little Man” or “Little Lady”. One knew to expect bad news when our mom started a one-way conversation with such an address. … [Read More...] about Messages From Space
As Martin Scorsese ramps up production for his movie of David Grann’s book, Killers of the Flower Moon, concerning the tragic murders of members of the Osage tribe in and around my home town of Pawhuska, Oklahoma, I thought Mr. Scorsese might appreciate a little movie making advice. Here is some information he may find helpful. Ten years before Pawhuska’s favorite son, Ben (Son) Johnson, Jr., won an Academy Award for his role as pool hall/movie theatre owner Sam the Lion in The Last Picture Show I sold him a Stetson hat. Son, I called him Mr. Johnson, was home for a visit in Pawhuska, Oklahoma in 1960 and I was working Saturdays at Hub Clothiers Men’s Store on Kihekah Avenue. Son had just … [Read More...] about Dear Mr. Scorsese
July 17 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Unanimous for Murder
Live on Amazon.com and Kindle eBooks!
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.