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Columns

  • Anonymous sources

    Law enforcement agencies often rely on Confidential Informants to investigate criminal matters. Many times crimes cannot be solved if those who commit the crimes or those they voluntarily tell about the crimes do not talk to the police. It is a truism that it is hard to catch a fish that does not open its mouth.

  • It sounds so simple

    The Babylonians of Mesopotamia formed a written code of laws designed to resolve all human needs and control all human behavior. That was over 3,500 years ago. It did not guarantee Freedom of Speech.

    Fear not, after the Babylonians the Hebrews took a shot at it and adopted, after first rejecting, the Ten Commandments that were supplanted by first Greek then Roman laws. None of these directly recognized the essential right to publicly disagree.

  • Ah, I remember it well

    August 25th. Ah, I now remember it well, thanks to Peg who sweetly asked me over our first cup of coffee, “Jim, isn’t this just a beautiful morning?” I looked up from the trial transcript I was proofreading and grunted, “Yeah”. Things went downhill from there.

    As Peg had interrupted my work I assumed she would be pleased to get me some more coffee; so I held up my cup and said as politely as Oliver Twist, “More”.

  • A road once taken

    Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken poignantly emphasizes the dilemma of life’s choices. Frost must have spent a great deal of time on this subject as another of his most famous poems, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, talks about Frost coming upon a fork in the road of life and having to choose one.

  • Peg’s Motto: Jim’s Labor Omnia Vincit

    his famous Latin phrase, “Work Conquers All”, was originally a piece of propaganda used by the Roman poet Virgil (70 BC-19 BC) in his poem Georgics to curry favor with the Roman emperor Augustus (63 BC- 14 AD). Augustus wanted to encourage Roman citizens to quit their enjoyable lives of drinking wine and discussing politics to take up the hard work of farming. Peg, and maybe your spouse too, has carried on this tradition.

    In the beginning were the innocent sounding words, “Jim, are you taking a vacation this summer?”

  • The ultimate sin

    Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) was a professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, New York. Campbell was America’s recognized guru in the area of myth and religion. He postulated that the ultimate/unpardonable sin was to be unaware.

  • A summer place (not the movie)
  • Your time has come

    “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

  • A house divided

    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.

  • History reported not repeated

    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.