“The American Creed” I believe in the United States of America As a government Of the people, By the people, For the people, Whose just powers are derived From the consent of the governed; A democracy in a republic; A sovereign Nation of many sovereign states; A perfect Union; One and inseparable; Established upon those principles Of freedom, equality, justice and humanity For which American patriots Sacrificed their lives and fortunes. Therefore, I believe it is my duty To my country to love it, To support its Constitution, To obey its laws, To respect its flag, And to defend it against all enemies. This poem by William Tyler Page was adopted by a Resolution of the … [Read More...] about Your Time Has Come
Most of us know of and many can even recite President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address delivered during the Civil War on November 19, 1863. And most of us know of and probably sometimes paraphrase his House Divided speech delivered when he was a candidate for United States Senator in Illinois (June 16, 1858). Lincoln lost to Stephan Douglas whom Lincoln later beat for the presidency in 1860. The topic might be a little heavy for a short weekly newspaper column but with our country’s birthday this week and the country in a perpetual state of mutual invective I humbly submit it is worth our attention. In an attempt to pare down the extremely complex and emotionally charged issues of … [Read More...] about A House Divided
I would like to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear, you know, when you could turn on the television and not hear overpaid jerks shouting at one another,“You are lying!” Unfortunately, unless I watch re-runs of “I Love Lucy”, invective is the only fare available. As Anne Murray sings, 🎵”We sure could use a little good news today”🎵. Well, here is some. My friends Glenn Curtis, Ray Kessler, Jerry King and Harold Morgan, Gentle Reader you might note a particular demographic here, all write a lot of good news. Glenn, Posey County’s Historian Emeritus, even drafts entertaining cartoons about current events and historical ones. Harold Morgan has written several books on … [Read More...] about History Reported – Not Repeated
The National Judicial College has asked me to submit an article on Implicit Judicial Bias for inclusion in its magazine, Judicial Edge, because unfortunately, as proven by the #MeTooMovement, Ferguson Missouri, and our current political climate, implicit bias is all too explicit in the good ‘ole U.S. of A even in our courts. Therefore, I have submitted the following article to NJC and since judges throughout America may be wasting their time reading it, why, Gentle Reader, shouldn’t you? Here it is. A syllogism: All sentient humans have learned implicit biases, all judges are sentient human beings, ergo, all judges have implicit biases. The issue is not are judges biased. The issue is how … [Read More...] about Judicial Bias
As this is a family newspaper I cannot recite the W.C. Fields (1880 – 1946) actual quotation about why he did not drink water. However, after spending two full days removing a winter’s worth of sludge from Peg’s above ground pool I side with W.C. My first clue as to the toxicity of the greenish, quivering mass clinging to the Walmart plastic liner was when my friend Paul Axton, who is a Department of Natural Resources officer, stopped by to retrieve the racoon trap he had loaned me. Paul smelled the acrid fumes rising from the pool and walked over to investigate. “Jim have you notified the E.P.A. about this concoction? It may require Congressional oversight to remove this junk. If this gets … [Read More...] about Putrid Porridge
As President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo negotiate with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his lead negotiator Kim Yong Chol over a possible summit, the 5.7 million Americans who served during the Korean War (1950-1953) continue to pass away. We have already lost about two thirds of them and on May 23, 2018 we lost another, Harold Lee Cox. Harold and his brother-in-law Gene McCoy served in Korea at the same time. In September 2005 I wrote the following Gavel Gamut column about their service: AN UNKNOWN VICTORY You name the WAR: Two countries are created from one by the greatest military power in the world and are monitored by the United Nations; One country led by a ruthless … [Read More...] about Another Empty Chair
Mothers of sons frequently assume, often rightly so, that attention to detail is not their son’s strong suit. Daughters of fathers often assume, frequently to their chagrin, that their father’s strong suit is attention to detail. In situations calling for responsible action a mother of a son usually looks to her dad instead of her son. If given a choice between youthful exuberance and supposed tempered judgment a woman, say the mother of a bridegroom, will lean on experience, say the grandfather of that bridegroom, when important wedding tasks (safekeeping of the wedding rings, for example) must be performed. This was the dilemma facing our daughter, Heather, last Saturday when she worried … [Read More...] about What Could Go Wrong?
I am so excited! Our new granddaughter-in-law is already what I have always wanted to be: a girl singer in a touring rock band. Well, maybe not the girl thing, but ever since I spent my Sunday School offering of a dollar to buy my first record, a 45 rpm single of Sonny James’ “Young Love”, I have secretly dreamed of headlining a rock and roll show. I could have done it too if I hadn’t been unfairly held back by the inability to know a musical key from a wash tub. But before we get to the wedding of our grandson, Alec, and his bride, Arielle, I have a few questions you, Gentle Reader, who may also be a closet rock star, can answer. First, whatever happened to the Roll in Rock and Roll? … [Read More...] about I Wannabe A Girl Singer In A Rock Band
Those few of you who actually read this column on a regular basis will recall my completely justified response to Peg’s destruction of my weekend by sentencing me to help her haul, open and spread 120 fifty-pound bags of brown mulch at JPeg Ranch. You might say, “Well, Peg worked too”. But you see, Peg lives for such opportunities so to her it is not work. On the other hand, as for me, a ball game viewed from the couch is a more appropriate way to spend a Saturday. I was quite astonished and even a little hurt when several readers of last week’s article weighed in with suggestions on what I should do with the mulch. It surprised me that everyone who responded so uncharitably sided with Peg. … [Read More...] about Enough Suggestions, Already
Ah, spring! The hummingbirds have returned to JPeg Ranch and the falling locust tree blossoms can make me forget for a while how the thorns attack me each time I must deal with a fallen branch. The air is filled with perfume and a symphony of avian love songs. Of course, it is not called spring for nothing and the Equinox strikes deeply into Peg’s cortex causing her to spring into a frenzy of projects around the Ranch. Unfortunately for me Peg’s projects become my sentence. Then there is Peg’s deeply held belief we should contribute to virtually every cause that advances the beauty of Posey County, especially New Harmony. The confluence of her obsessions of yard improvement and public … [Read More...] about Mucho Mulch
Much as a judge must decide the cases in front of her or him, on Tuesday, May 08, 2018 Posey County voters must decide whom to nominate to run in November’s general election for Circuit Court Judge. When a judge is deciding a case the first thing is to analyze the evidence. Voters can do the same thing before they cast their votes. Whether the office in question is President of the United States or Circuit Court Judge the process should be the same. Such things as relevant experience and prior good or bad behavior should be considered. But especially with judges there is no substitute for good character and mature judgment. Judges decide the issues most dear to us. Such matters as who … [Read More...] about Judging Judges
December 1 @ 9:00 am - December 2 @ 4:00 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.