Father George Rapp of Pennsylvania and Robert Owen of New Lanark, Scotland each hoped their visions for Mankind would manifest in New Harmony, Indiana. Rapp’s vision involving Christ’s Second Coming and Owen’s involving a world without any traditional religions look different but have similar dreams at their base. A world without private property ownership was one of the major goals for both. I will leave an analysis of Rapp’s grand plans to the theologians. As to Owen’s, I defer to the philosophers but will refer to Robert Owen, A View of Society and Other Writings edited by Gregory Glaeys who is a Professor of History at Royal University of London and a recognized authority on Robert … [Read More...] about Connections
Those of you who have had the pleasure of visiting New Harmony, Indiana and those of us privileged to live there know its Anglo-Saxon origins include a huge debt to Robert Owen of New Lanark, Scotland. Owen made his fortune milling textiles and yarn in New Lanark and used a great deal of his money to buy New Harmony from the German Lutheran community led by Father George Rapp. Owen based his dream for mankind on the non-religious philosophies of the Enlightenment. The influences of both the Rappites and Owenites have been deeply woven into the two unique experiments that resulted in today’s New Harmony. Peg and I were somewhat aware of Robert Owen and his progressive policies on fair … [Read More...] about You Can Go Home Again
The Constitutional Convention was held in Philadelphia in 1787. The delegates kept the proceedings secret to avoid, “licentious publications of their proceedings.” James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, stated that no Constitution would have ever been adopted if the debates had been public. Remarkably, for four months the secrecy was maintained. Can you imagine the motives CNN, FOX and MSNBC would have projected upon George Washington, et. al.? No delegate would have escaped the allegations of lying or even treason to the Revolution. But inside the Convention the fifty-five delegates, half of whom were lawyers, debated the most volatile issues of the day. Slavery, whether we would … [Read More...] about The Constitutional Convention and Cable News
After writing this column for twenty-seven years I can easily delude myself into believing that the reason no one writes in with complaints is because people agree with my opinions. Of course, I am fully aware a more likely reason is because no one reads them. Be that as it may, should you have read “Gavel Gamut” recently you know the general topic has been the state of discourse and discussion in America. More to the point, why do so many people seem so angry with people whose only sin is to voice an opinion with which others disagree? While even every day conversations among friends now sometimes turn into shouting matches and hurt feelings, the worst practitioners of “My way or the … [Read More...] about My Way Or The Highway
Once upon a time one could read a newspaper or listen to the radio or watch television and get information on current events. One might hear a report about our nation’s involvement in a war for example. I was born in 1943 so my first war memory is from Korea. Perhaps Korea might provide war tocsin again. Anyway, I recall news reports about General MacArthur and President Truman. I do not recall anybody calling anybody else a liar for expressing their views or positions. Issues as raw and visceral as Commander-In-Chief versus commander in the field were discussed and analyzed without resort to epithets. About the worst MacArthur ever said about Truman was he was only a captain in WWII and … [Read More...] about It’s Not Opinion; It’s Fact
As lifetime members of the Indiana University Alumni Association Peg and I receive IU’s magazine which usually is devoid of substance and replete with solicitations for even more money. I normally toss it in the trash with a casual glance. However, this Fall 2017 edition contained an essay by C.J. Lotz titled “Fighting Words” which took up the issues surrounding the questions being asked by every Talking Head. Of course, no one really wants to know what anyone else thinks so right after the questions are raised the Talking Heads answer them for us as they wish. The main question is, “Are we becoming an ever more polarized society?” The question the Talking Heads deign to answer for us is, … [Read More...] about Fighting Words
After treating me to 8 weeks of basic training in the Texas summer heat the United States Air Force extended the misery by subjecting me to Indiana University football. In 1963 the Air Force stationed me in Bloomington to learn Hungarian. First they gave me a Top Secret Security Clearance. Silly me, I thought the reason was to keep secrets from the Soviet Union. I discovered the only secret being protected was that there are two halves to a football game; I.U. often plays only the first. From my first IU football game in 1963 through 7 years on campus up to last night, August 31, 2017, I have repeatedly had my hopes raised in the first half only to see them crushed on the shoals of reality. … [Read More...] about Ohio State 13, I.U. 14 (Half Time)
William Shakespeare had Marc Antony preach these words at Julius Caesar’s funeral: “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” Act III, Scene 2 Antony went on to list Caesar’s accomplishments in addition to his being ambitious. There was some good, some bad. Perhaps the citizens of Rome should have erected a partial statue of Caesar honoring just the good parts. This could be a solution to our current controversy over monuments to historic figures. A committee could be composed of people who admire the works of a now dead leader and those who find the figure’s behavior flawed. A few examples might be helpful. George Washington survived Valley … [Read More...] about Feet of Clay
A nation is its culture and experience, its history. That is what determines its character. The same is true of the world. We learn or do not learn from the mistakes and accomplishments of ourselves and those who have preceded us. If we learn, we can accomplish more. If we do not learn, we may repeat mistakes. To learn from the past we must know and understand it. If we hide the past, we do not change what has happened but we may live to regret that we no longer remember it. ISIS or ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq or the Islamic State of Syria, has been culturally cleansing the ancient Middle East for several years. Its members are offended by statues, monuments and artifacts that once, … [Read More...] about Cultural Cleansing
If you read last week’s column (hey, I can dream can’t I), you know I am preparing to help the National Judicial College teach Rural Court Judges. Last week we talked about the theory that our law arises from our history and culture, our Volksgeist. Or as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935) put it, “The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience”. Posey County, Indiana has produced several influential thinkers on what our law should be and do, that is, what is the proper purpose of our legal system? Our most famous citizen was and still is Alvin P. Hovey (1821–1891). Hovey was an attorney, a Posey Circuit Court judge, a general and the only governor to ever come from … [Read More...] about Do Right While We Help Ourselves
During August and September this year, as for several years before, the National Judicial College will be presenting Internet courses to judges from across America. Other members of the NJC faculty and I will discuss with student judges via computer and telephone how to bring more just results in our courts. The faculty is comprised of volunteer judges and staff in Nevada, Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. My experience over several years of judging and continuing judicial education by both Internet and brick and mortar classes has led me to the conclusion judges should not concentrate on techniques but rather systems of thought, i.e., legal theory. “How to” knowledge is helpful … [Read More...] about The American Volksgeist
December 2 @ 8:00 am - December 3 @ 5:00 pm
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.