Friday, July 14, 2006

The Lightning Round:
You Can't Handle The Truth!

This week, we've noticed a flurry of stories involving falsehoods.

KEN LAY -- MARTYR? Some people actually mourn the death of Ken Lay, but not as grandly as one clergyman.

According to Reuters:
The Reverend Dr. Bill Lawson compared Lay with civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus Christ, and said his name would eventually be cleared.

"He was taken out of the world right at the right time," he said. "History has a way of vindicating people who have been wronged."
We notice the good Reverend conveniently forgets Jesus and Dr. King sacrificed their lives for the good of others while Lay hung his company out to dry while enriching himself.

I expect to see a new bumper sticker soon: "Ken Lay died when he lied!"

TELL ME LIES, TELL ME SWEET LITTLE LIES. A lot of us don't seem to mind casual, non-destructive fibbing according to an AP-Ipsos poll. Two-thirds of the respondents said white lies were all right.

From the AP:
Four out of ten who were surveyed say it's OK to exaggerate a story to make it more interesting. About a third say it's all right to lie about a sick day off from work. And about a third saying lying about your age is fine -- if you're just vain and not trying to dodge laws about the drinking age.
So I guess this excuse works: "Sorry I called in sick yesterday. This ravishing blonde gave me the fiercest cold I've ever had. She thought I was 18."

RIGHTING THE WRONGED. Eventually, those truly wronged do have their name cleared -- people like Grace Sherwood, accused of witchcraft in 1706 Virginia. She stood trial by water and floated, convincing colonists she was guilty because the pure water rejected her evil spirit. This week, on the 300th anniversary of her trial, Virginia's governor pardoned her.

Visitors to Colonial Williamsburg have been Sherwood's jury for years as part of an interactive play, "Cry Witch".

I took part in one of those trials during a visit in 2004. We were allowed to ask questions, but we were also instructed by the historical interpreters to use the law of 1706, not the law of present day, in rendering our verdict. Shackled by that restriction, we were left with little choice but to convict. And we didn't feel very good about it afterward.

DIGITAL DISASTER TIME. Homeland Security is updating the Emergency Broadcast System so it can send messages to cell phones, Web sites, and wireless devices. As you know, the system has been tested countless times, but never used on a national scale.

Still unclear: whether you'll answer your phone and hear a voice saying: "This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. If this had been an actual emergency you would've been instructed where to run and hide."

BLOG SAFELY. A part-time faculty member at the University of Arizona resigned after a blog bashing match went too far and too personal. Debroah Frisch, a liberal who admits she likes to taunt conservative bloggers, made this statement to one of them: "You live in Colorado. Hope nobody JonBenets your baby," referring to the murder of JonBenet Ramsey.

Angry e-mail poured into the U of A. Frisch claims it was a "sick joke." Sick is correct.

A reminder to everybody out there blogging and commenting -- practice your honors. A blog post is not worth losing your job over... or anything else, either.

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