The telephone call began ominously, “Mr. Redwine (?)” It is never a good sign if a professional office treats you as an equal. Usually such a call would start, “James, state your full name, your date of birth, social security number, and most importantly, scan in your financial responsibility history for the past ten years.” Now, that is more the attitude I would have expected. I responded, “Ugh, may I ask your name and why you are calling?” “No, but feel free to contact your Congressional representative if you please, and good luck there too.” The caller continued, “You were randomly selected for a couple of medical tests. Be at our office in Bartlesville Monday at 8:00 a.m.” When I … [Read More...] about A Friend In Low Places
“Mr. Redwine, this is the medical laboratory at the Palace of Pain. We have the results of your recent CT Scan. Would you like the good news or the bad news first?” “Oh, let’s go with the bad news; lay it on me.” “Okay Jim, the bad news is there isn’t much good news. However, you show no signs of any fatal health condition. On the other hand, you probably should stay away from any sharp instruments or loaded pistols until after we can remove the large kidney stone that showed up on your CT Scan.” “What about just ignoring the stone; will it simply dissolve or pass on its own?” “I’m afraid not. What is most likely is the large calcified mass will dislodge on its own and seek to … [Read More...] about GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS
Pure democratic government involves direct selection of leaders by those who are led. The United States is two thirds of a democracy. The Executive Branch is elected by popular vote every four years. The House of Representatives of the Legislative Branch is elected by popular vote every two years. The Senatorial part of the Legislative Branch is elected by popular vote in staggered parts over six years. The Executive and Legislative Branches then select all members of the federal judiciary. The American public has no direct input in the selection of the Judicial Branch. Federal judges receive life-time appointments subject only to their own choice or, extremely rarely, impeachment. Supreme … [Read More...] about Our Two Branch Democracy
Joel Chandler Harris, AKA Joe Harris (1848-1908), was born in the state of Georgia before the Civil War and worked on a slave-holding plantation as a teenager. After the war he became an associate editor at The Atlanta Constitution newspaper. Harris had lived and worked around the evils of slavery and he had absorbed the folk wisdom of slaves who were prohibited by law from formal education. Harris created his fictional writings using Uncle Remus as a wise and shrewd observer of human nature hidden within animal behavior. Harris intended his writings as compliments to the ability of Uncle Remus to explain human foibles by giving animals human failings such as arrogance. In the story of … [Read More...] about The Briar Patch
Three of the United States Supreme Court’s own members Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor warn us the Court has appointed itself, instead of Congress or the EPA, the decision maker on climate policy. An outcome the three dissenters found frightening. See the dissenting opinion of Kagan as joined by Breyer and Sotomayor in West Virginia v. EPA decided June 30, 2022. What they meant was that the unelected Supreme Court installed the Judicial Branch as the policy maker for an issue, management of the environment, that should be within the Legislative Branch that is subject to democratic control, as the Court is not. Most of us are unable to see the irony in our own actions. The … [Read More...] about Judicial Proclivities
“Throughout the 200-year history of the United States the American nation has been at war.” That was how author William Koenig led into his 1980 book, Americans at War. Although ostensibly a study of American warfare from about 1775 at Lexington and Concord to 1975, the end of the Viet Nam War, Koenig actually starts with the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620 and Native Americans meeting the ship. Had he waited until today to publish he could have included another fifty years of Americans at war, right up to Ukraine. In general, we Americans view our involvement in foreign wars, that is, non-Native American warfare, as justified by the belligerence of others who have forced us reluctantly … [Read More...] about D-Day
My earliest memories of Memorial Day involved hot cemeteries where all the adult women spent a great deal of time loudly hushing all the children and the few men in attendance furtively smoked cigarettes while shifting from foot to foot. Any attempt by me or my brother, Philip, to chase butterflies or engage in horseplay was met with stern stares and an occasional knock on the head or a swat on the tail. Mother had three brothers and one sister who had served in the Army in WWII and Mom observed the service of all veterans solemnly and reverently; she demanded her children properly learn the ritual. Our role was to honor the dead soldiers and show gratitude to those veterans who were still … [Read More...] about Memorial Day
They tore down my grade school and built a church. It is a nice church that regularly fills up with nice people, some of whom I do not know and some I do. In fact, some of the church members whom I do know I first met in the first grade in our old sandstone elementary school that is now their church. I expect almost every time one of those old classmates pulls up to their new church, they get a nostalgic image of our old school. I know that every time Peg and I happen to drive by the fine new brick church with its lovely green lawn and flowering shrubs, images of a sward of almost non-existent short grass interspersed with small pebbles and an occasional anthill fiercely guarded by large … [Read More...] about Changes
I like brown grass. It matches the unfallen brown leaves I don’t have to rake and the brown stagnant water in the pond that hides my fish from the ravenous blue heron. Also, brown grass does not engender chiggers. Ah, chiggers, Mother Nature’s reminder that we humans are, in fact, at the top of the insect world’s food pyramid. Here’s how the internet waxes eloquent about chiggers: “They bite their human host (who invited them?) and by embedding their mouthparts into the skin cause intense irritation with intense itching.” Ugh! The omniscient internet says chiggers prosper in grasslands, like the Osage County, Oklahoma prairie, and are most numerous in early summer when grass is heaviest; … [Read More...] about ♪ All The Grass Is Green ♪
Liberals are upset that the leak from the U.S. Supreme Court may signal that the case of Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), may be overturned or, as is more likely, modified. Conservatives are upset there was a leak from the Supreme Court that may allow public pressure from Liberals to influence the Court to not modify Roe’s holdings. Neither Roe v. Wade nor the case that followed it, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), is before the Supreme Court for decision. They could be referred to and overturned or reaffirmed by the Court within its decision of the pending case of Dobbs v. Jackson, No. 19-1392 that will be decided in 2022. As there has not yet been an official decision in … [Read More...] about Lemonade
As did Athena, the goddess of wisdom who sprung full grown from the head of Zeus, occasionally a Mozart-type creative genius is born into the world already with great mental acuity. But most people only develop wisdom over a substantial amount of time. That is why virtually every culture honors its older citizens, not because they have lived a long time but because they may have accumulated knowledge and may possess sound judgment as a result. Of course, good judgment often is earned the hard way, that is, in response to earlier bad decisions. If one survives enough poor choices, better choices and better advice become more likely. When it comes to good choices, I have been impressed by the … [Read More...] about Good Things Come With Time
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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.