Watch and smile:
The first thing is an article I wrote of American Thinker: Obama, Jon Stewart and Progressivism’s Bodyguard of Lies
The traditional courtroom oath used to require the witness to state “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” To emphasize God’s role in this oath, the witness would place his hand on the Bible.
When a witness took that oath, even if he was only a moderately religious person, he could not escape the knowledge that he had put his soul on the line. If he got creative in his testimony, he wasn’t just lying to the court, he was lying to his Maker. That’s serious stuff.
For the past many years, though, the oath has been abbreviated in American courtrooms. Now, witnesses about to testify keep their hands in their laps and state only “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” The end.
Can’t you just hear the nefarious, knowing snicker a less-than-honest witness inaudibly tacks on to the end of that oath? “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me . . . whatever . . . giggle, giggle.”
Sure, a really peeved prosecutor might come after the witness for perjury, but having spent almost 30 years in the legal field, I’ve only known that to happen once. While God’s eye may be on the smallest sparrow, our legal system really doesn’t care.
What many non-religious people forget is that original oath lies, not in the courtroom, but in the Bible. Lying is anathema to God, who made “Do not bear false witness” the ninth of his Ten Commandments. Dennis Prager neatly sums up why God’s mandate about how men must speak to each other is such an essential part of a functioning society:
Here’s a little news story that should warm the cockles of the coldest, most jaded heart. Incidentally, I was not surprised to learn that the young man who did this comes from a religious background:
What did we expect already from yesterday’s Prayer Breakfast? Obama long ago put the world on notice that he’s going full Bulworth (i.e., after six years in office, he intends, finally, to stop lying and speak the truth).
While before Obama just let out peevish little trickles of animosity, anyone paying attention could tell that:
(a) he’s profoundly ignorant about history — not just American history, but any history, including Muslim and Christian history;
(b) he hates Christians and Christianity;
(c) he hates America, no matter that this nation twice elected him as president (with a little help from the IRS, of course); and
I wrote the other day at some length about the incredible link between dogs and humans. There are two things I want to say. The first is to publish in the body of my blog a comment from Lee, about dogs’ contribution to civilization:
I read somewhere that the domestication of the dog was the first step towards civilization. Dogs have played an integral part in helping man build civilization by aiding herders, farmers, and hunters, and by helping provide security. During the course of developing civilization, the role of dogs have expanded and also become more specialized.
I don’t know if this was theorized by someone just gaga over dogs (which I am myself, so I don’t blame them), and/or if it’s really true. But it sure sounds plausible to me!
But if it is true: think of the ramifications of a society that bans dogs. While it may not plunge man into pre-civilization darkness (hunting is no longer necessarily needed to provide protein in the Western diet, and ratters are no longer quite the necessity they once were for keeping food and grain stores safe from vermin), it still speaks volumes, as far as I am concerned.
The second thing isn’t really something I want to say. It’s something I want to show:
I just love this song, especially as Josh Groban sings it, and once a year I get to share that love with you:
I’m still working my way through my email backlog, but it’s worth the effort, because I’m finally wonderful things buried in there. Take this video, for example:
Every life has value . . . if we know where to look, and if the person hasn’t taken affirmative steps to erase his life’s value. Such an affirmative step might be, for example, gleefully beheading helpless men to score religious/political points. That’s a life that has announced it’s without value.
One of the good things about having a deeply unhappy mother is that it made me think about the things she does that lead to that chronic unhappiness. Objectively, her life is very, very bad (old, widowed, heart problems, chronic pain, limited mobility) and her life is very, very good (she’s reached a grand old age, she’s got loving children and grandchildren, she lives in one of the most beautiful places in the world, she’s getting state-of-the-art care for her heart and pain, she lives in an excellent skilled nursing facility).
Rather than seeing both sides of her life, or focusing on the good stuff, my Mom insists on seeing only the very, very bad stuff. There is no good. She’s terrified of dying, but it’s awful to be old. She never sees her children or grandchildren enough. Marin is nice, but it’s not Europe. Sure, they manage the worst of her pain, but she still has pain and it’s so terrible. The nurses at her skilled nursing facility are awful. And so it goes, on and on, focusing relentlessly on the bad things, and reducing the good things to bad.
I long ago made the conscious decision to go the other way. Or as I told her, if you can’t change your situation, change your attitude.
There are things in my life I wish I could change; indeed, I wish most desperately that I could change them. But mostly, I know that I’m singularly fortunate. I live in one of the most beautiful areas in the world; in one of the nicest neighborhoods ever imagined; in a spacious, comfortable home; with children and dogs who adore me (sometimes to the point of exhaustion). I have a sister who is my best friend; Don Quixote (another best friend) is just a phone call away; and I have innumerable acquaintances who make my life better. I write, work out, read, and generally get to do things I enjoy.
I think Dennis Prager would be proud of me:
It’s a talent show at Pitman High School in Modesto, California (the Central Valley). One skinny white guy got up and proved to everyone that the ghost of Michael Jackson is inhabiting his body. He’s lip syncing the words, but the moves are all Michael. Most impressive:
You can read more about Brett Nichols here.
Since I’m not an Oprah fan, I skipped that part of the video. Hearing her talk about the different prosthetics, though, and watching her and Derek dance was a delight:
I’ve gotten to the point at which I no longer see Amy Purdy’s prosthetic legs. Her dancing is so tight it’s amazing: