Last week Peg and I drove down I-44 from the eastern edge of Missouri to the eastern edge of Oklahoma. We observed the remains of a few deer, several opossums, one or two raccoons and over one hundred dead armadillos on the roadside. The normal final position of an armadillo was on its scaled back with its clawed paws stuck straight up. Occasionally a beer can would be nestled among the claws. Frequently the carcasses were totally flat. This phenomenon occurred so often it became obvious people went out of their way to squash the critters. Such a violent reaction to the mere existence of the armadillos becomes understandable if one should have to deal with the creatures on a daily … [Read More...] about The Armadillos Cometh
Folk singer Phil Ochs (1940-1976) wrote a ballad about old people, mainly politicians, giving young people orders on how they should behave and believe. The closing verse is: “So keep right on a talking And tell us what to do. If nobody listens, My apologies to you. And I know that you were younger once ‘Cause you sure are older now, So when I got something to say, Sir, I’m going to say it now.” Ochs applied his sarcastic insight to the United States as well. In a song he wrote about American incursions from South America to Southeast Asia he criticized our government for interfering militarily when a country elected a leader we did not like and could not control: “We’ll find you a … [Read More...] about Rattling Sabres
America consists of four countries: (1) everything east of the Mississippi River excluding Florida; (2) Florida, (3) everything west of the Mississippi River excluding California; and, (4) California. Rodeos are the province of people in country (3) although some folks in Florida and California do know there is no accent on the term rodéo except for a certain drive in Beverly Hills frequented by the frou-frou set. Yankees, that is almost all of those people in countries (1) (2) and (4) snub their noses at those of us from country (3). Yankees tend to talk funny while casting aspersions on the pleasing western drawls of those of us from country (3), and Yankees dress odd while failing to … [Read More...] about A Yankee Girl Does Rodeo
Peg and I bought a cabin on the prairie in Osage County, Oklahoma. It came furnished with bovines who appear to have formed a four legged resistance to a destiny as Big Macs. When we visited recently we drove across the cattle guard and were met by the steely gaze of the Leader of the Pack. He was mainly black but had a white Mark of Cain on his left jaw and sharp hooves which he pawed into the dirt as he snorted fire through his flaring nostrils. Having grown up in cow country I was able to recognize that neither the Lead Steer nor any of the others retained the necessary accoutrements for bulls. Therefore, I advised Peg to relax as I directed her to get out of the pickup and wade through … [Read More...] about MOOrauders
William Wordsworth (1770-1850) was an English poet who in 1807 wrote the poem The World Is Too Much With Us. “Getting and spending we lay waste our powers. Little we see in Nature that is ours.” Wordsworth was inundated with a world in chaos: The American Revolution (1776-1783); the French Revolution (1789-1794); and most significantly the Industrial Revolution (1760-1840). Wordsworth was twenty-eight years old when his British contemporary, Thomas Malthus (1766-1834), who was a scholar and cleric, wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population. Malthus looked at the earth’s burgeoning population, about one billion humans as 1800 neared, and wrote: “The power of population is definitely … [Read More...] about Circle Up And Fire!
China’s National Science Review reported in March 2019 that Bing Su of the Kunming Institute of Zoology has inserted human genes into monkeys. His apparent goal was to investigate how the brains of early primates developed along different paths with monkeys remaining in the trees and Homo sapiens progressing to the Internet. Chinese scientist He Jiankui while at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China claims to have modified the genome, the DNA, of twin female humans in an attempt to preempt the possibility of them someday contracting the HIV virus. Both of these researchers dealt with DNA and CRISPR. DNA is familiarly known as deoxyribonucleric acid and … [Read More...] about Do We Want To Fool Mother Nature?
The seven day period beginning April 08 and ending April 15 has two important days, one joyous and one sad. April 08 is Peg’s birthday. Please wish her happiness and strength as she deals with having me home a lot more now. As to the other significant anniversary, Abraham Lincoln died on April 15, 1865. As if paying our taxes on April 15 was not already sad enough. Of course, there is a certain historic connection between federal income taxes and President Lincoln. He helped institute the first federal income tax to pay for the Civil War, which was fought to preserve the Union. However, after the Civil War ended the income tax was also ended until 1916 when it was made permanent by the … [Read More...] about Two Auspicious Days
Adolf Ochs (1858-1935) pinned the motto of the New York Times newspaper: “All the News Fit to Print” in 1897. It remains on the paper’s front page today. Mottoes sometimes are more hope than substance. In 1965, as the Viet Nam War was gearing up and 18 year old men could be drafted but could not vote, Barry McGuire (born 1935) sang ♫The Eve of Destruction♫. The lyrics included the following phrases: “The eastern world, it is expoldin’ Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’ You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’ You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’? …. The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace You can bury your dead but don’t leave a trace Hate … [Read More...] about Some News Fit To Print
Both the Quran and the Bible claim the World was created in 6 days by a God who even took a final day to rest up. I am okay with this explanation. It is simple, understandable and interesting. It certainly beats all the hours needed by me in an attempt to dimly comprehend the physics, chemistry and biology behind evolution. However, this is not a column about the age-old discussion about science versus religion. No, this is a plea to the sadists who write the directions that accompany Do-It-Yourself home improvement projects such as installing a ceiling fan. If God needed only 6 days to create the World, it is pretty obvious to me He did not have to decipher some instruction manual … [Read More...] about 7 Days vs 45 Minutes
I read the reports of the death of 85-year-old Karl Lagerfeld (1933-2019) who was one of the Western World’s most famous fashion designers. Lagerfeld had his own design company and designed for Chanel and Fendi. Although I had never heard of him until he died as my clothes designer is Levi Strauss, apparently a lot of people had heard of him as he left a fortune worth between 200 and 300 million dollars. Lagerfeld never married and had no children. He did have a cat named Choupette (sweetheart). Lagerfeld was German but lived and worked in Paris most of his adult life. Although cats are fairly well challenged when it comes to understanding the benefits of being a beneficiary, Lagerfeld was … [Read More...] about A Cat Is Not A Dog
Two weeks before actor Jussie Smollett reported to Chicago police he had been assaulted by two white men Smollett sent himself a letter with similar sentiments. Smollett who claims to be “Bluish”, that is, the offspring of a Jewish father and a Black mother, and who also says he is homosexual created the letter. The letter was released by Smollett in hopes of causing sympathy for him so he could demand a raise in his salary on the television series Empire. Not only did Smollett create a letter that would not pass muster as a prop in a grade school play the letter brought no response from the people in charge of Smollett’s salary. As to creating sympathy for his meager pay, that too might … [Read More...] about Thinking Slow
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.