My brother, Philip Redwine, that is Philip spelled with the Biblical one “l”, graduated from the Oklahoma University Law School while I was an undergraduate at Indiana University. When I asked him what he had been taught he told me the entire process boiled down to “learning to think like a lawyer”. When I excitedly quizzed him about that arcane and mysterious subject he replied the whole three years of law school could be summarized by the following story: “A client asked his attorney for advice as to whether he should file for a divorce. The client told the attorney that each time he tried to climb the stairs to the second floor of the couple’s home his wife would kick him back … [Read More...] about Legally Thinking
Our governmental systems, federal and each state, are designed to avoid rash decisions. We use systems that divide power into three generally equal branches that check one another’s powers and demand debate of important issues. Our fettered freedom created and maintains history’s most propitious culture. It is good to be an American. Of course, our system’s Holy Grail of restraining abuses of power results in diffused responses and partisan debates. That is also good as it helps prevent imprudent, irreversible actions. A concomitant element of our democratic system is that when faced with emergencies we often approach problems as a free people that the theoretical benevolent dictator might … [Read More...] about Transition Not Decline
We are at war. The actual combat began in January 2020. A declaration of war was not made by Congress as required by the United States Constitution. But virtually every member of the House of Representatives and the Senate, along with the President, has publicly asserted America is at war with COVID-19. Almost 90,000 of us have paid the ultimate price and almost 1.5 million are causalities. Many more losses are predicted. While wars of any description are great stressors on people, our enemy in this war is truly virulent. If we were fighting another country we would know where to direct our fear and fire. With the Coronavirus we cannot even identify our enemy without a microscope and it is … [Read More...] about Battle Fatigue
Peg is a born and reared Yankee. What she used to know about such places as Oklahoma came from Gunsmoke and The Lone Ranger. Now she is learning about the Wild West from personal experience. This morning she received an up close lesson in herpetology. Whereas not long ago rattlesnakes and copperheads were only in Peg’s psyche as metaphors, now she understands why westerners check their boots before pulling them on and make sure doorways and windows are carefully sealed. Of course, these precautions also work well with scorpions and centipedes. But Peg’s education about ferocious arachnids and arthropods has been previously addressed in this space. For now our concentration is on snakes. Peg … [Read More...] about Eve She Is Not
For about 200,000 years Homo sapiens did without air conditioning. Other than opening or closing the animal hide, reed or cloth flap covering their cave or hut openings our ancestors did not worry about the atmosphere, whether inside or out. Setting beside a fire pit or chimney, people were happy to simply huddle together when it was cold, probably in groups of ten or less. When it came to keeping cool we just opened windows. This provided untold benefits that humanity appears to have now lost sight of. Fresh air, reduced utility costs and portals for tossing out dirty dishwater disappeared. We began to regurgitate air previously breathed by others and which sometimes contains mold spores … [Read More...] about Windows of Opportunity
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) sought wisdom in living simply on Walden Pond outside Concord, Massachusetts just twenty-five miles from Boston. Thoreau spent two years there in a hut he built himself. Part of the wisdom he imparted then that speaks to our COVID 19 society now was the observation that government is best that governs least and less can be more in many aspects of life. Since March 5, 2020 Peg and I have discovered that as long as the computers keep turning out our Social Security checks and Medicare continues to cover us a great deal of government is superfluous, at least for us. We used to dine out regularly and occasionally engage in person with friends and family. If the … [Read More...] about On JPeg Osage Ranch
My sister, Jane Redwine Bartlett, is a retired psychology assistant professor and a working lay minister. She gave the following Easter message electronically. As she received some Good personal News the following week she may see that as a reward. It is a nice thought. “Good Morning! We gather in worship on this strangest of Easter Sundays—almost as strange as that first Easter 2000 years ago. When in your life have you ever given up so much for Lent? Forget giving up chocolate or starches or alcohol. Forget, “Don’t give something up; get out and do something good for others.” This year Lent has called for big time sacrifice. We have given up freedom of movement, freedom of choice, jobs … [Read More...] about Janie’s Sermon
Modern Americans have been blessed by the sacrifices of many before us. We can hope each person who gave their lives in service to America believed the Roman poet Horace (65 BCE-08 BCE) was correct: Est dulce et decor pro patria morte. One of those previous Americans to whom we owe a debt of gratitude was John Kennedy (1917-1963). Kennedy was injured in battle in World War II and suffered severe back pain because of it. As a young man he sat in a rocking chair to ease his pain. Yet Kennedy did not take the position America owed him anything. In his presidential inaugural address of January 20, 1961 he exhorted us to ask not what our country can do for us but what we can do for our … [Read More...] about It Is A Marathon
When I was a child nobody hugged or kissed anybody unless they were sweethearts or perhaps, occasionally, mother and child. People felt no need to get closer than arms length and nobody breathed on anybody. Then along came bleeding heart liberals and day-time TV shows and voila! Hugging was de rigueur. Suddenly perfect strangers were greeting one another as if they were Romeo and Juliet. I say it’s time to return to those not so thrilling days of yesteryear. It is not like people did not love one another before the 1980’s. After all, the human specie has thrived for thousands of years without faux hugs and kisses and families used to have lots more kids. But no one thought less of you back … [Read More...] about I’m OK; You’re Ok; Stay Away!
In 1729 Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) published his two-fold solution to the problems of Irish poverty and a shortage of meat among wealthy British. Swift proposed poor Irish parents could eliminate their cost of feeding their children by selling them to wealthy British for food. The title to Swift’s essay illustrates why he published it anonymously: A Modest Proposal For preventing the children of Poor People From being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and For making them Beneficial to the Publick. Swift’s satirical cure for the pandemic of his time, the great disparity between the few rich and the many poor, is probably not a reasonable recipe for how America might encourage its youth … [Read More...] about A Swift Cure
Let’s say you have a knotty problem you would like solved, a Gordian Knot type problem for example. Would you be satisfied with an Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE) approach? I think not and I think Alexander’s personal tutor, the great problem solver Aristotle (384-322 BCE), would have reproved his famous pupil for hacking the knot in two instead of untying it. Alexander did provide a simple analysis to a complex problem but he did not solve the problem; he only avoided it. As most of us have unfortunately experienced: for every complex problem there is a simple wrong answer. Tough problems are tough because they are complex. Complex situations almost always require hard work, imagination, … [Read More...] about Simple Solutions
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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.