“God Wanted Him Caught”–Case of the Dangerous Stalker

I have handled a few serious cases where the investigators were convinced that they were aided by Divine Providence. The detectives declared: “God wanted him caught.” The Dangerous Stalker I presided over the first case under California’s new felony stalking law.  The defendant was obsessed with the female victim. The victim’s life became a nightmare. … Continue reading “God Wanted Him Caught”–Case of the Dangerous Stalker

A Vietnamese Judge Reminds Us Americans “What We Have”

 In Honor of the Fourth of July I was privileged to be the mentor judge for Nho Nguyen, the first Vietnamese-American judge in the country. He is a living hero. A Living Hero In college, he protested the South Vietnam military dictatorship and led a student democratic movement. He risked his life to establish freedom … Continue reading A Vietnamese Judge Reminds Us Americans “What We Have”

Dear Abby: The Chain Smoker’s Tragic Letter

I shall never forget a “Dear Abbey” letter I read in 1960’s.  It went like this: Dear Abbey: "A few weeks after the birth of our daughter, she became very ill. The doctors said she was allergic to my cigarette smoke. If I continued to smoke in her presence, it could kill her.  "I tried to … Continue reading Dear Abby: The Chain Smoker’s Tragic Letter

The Best Christmas Tale Ever Written

"The Other Wise Man" The best Christmas tale ever written is: “The Other Wise Man,” by Henry Van Dyke.  Van Dyke (1852-1933) was a preacher, writer, and professor of literature at Princeton University.  The idea for this moving story came to Van Dyke one night “as a gift out of the air,” after a year … Continue reading The Best Christmas Tale Ever Written

2 High Publicity Police Fiascos: When the Police Use Military Equipment

There is a current debate about the "over-militarization" of the police and the use of military equipment. This is nothing new. I am old enough to remember the following 2 police fiascos. The LAPD Armored Personnel Carrier Battering Ram In 1985, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) proudly displayed their new 6-ton armored personnel carrier … Continue reading 2 High Publicity Police Fiascos: When the Police Use Military Equipment

Angry Judge Gets Caught Flattening Tire of Handicap Van

(I was bored and tired of listening to the election results, so I decided to move this "Court Case Friday" article to Thursday.) Over the years, I have presided over dozens of parking-lot-rage cases.  Fortunately, most of these cases were minor misdemeanors. I remember a high-publicity parking-lot-rage case that occurred a long time ago.  It … Continue reading Angry Judge Gets Caught Flattening Tire of Handicap Van

The Newcomer to Heaven

An Ancient Persian Parable This is an ancient Persian parable. I have used this parable in countless talks and lessons over the years. This is my version. A newcomer to heaven was strolling along on the glistening marshmellowy clouds, admiring the harp players and choruses of angels, when off in the distance he saw a … Continue reading The Newcomer to Heaven

The Tale of the Billionaire’s Deadbeat Son

The story is told of a billionaire who had a very lazy and spoiled son. As the rich man grew older, he worried about leaving his deadbeat son his inheritance. The son was a young adult, but he had never worked a day in his life. The wealthy father decided to give his son a test. He challenged … Continue reading The Tale of the Billionaire’s Deadbeat Son

Buddha’s Advice: “Next Time, Take the Boat.”

My World’s Religions professor and favorite philosophy professor was a practicing Buddhist. He shared this short, but profound, story with us. This is my version. In ancient India, an old holy man was granted a rare audience with the Buddha. The holy man entered the sacred temple and walked past the marble columns of the great hall … Continue reading Buddha’s Advice: “Next Time, Take the Boat.”

Socrates: Do You Want Wisdom as Much as You Want Air?

Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher, was famous for his love of knowledge and wisdom. The story is told that one day, a young man approached Socrates and asked for wisdom. Socrates said, "Come, follow me." The youth followed Socrates as he walked to the edge of the sea. The young man followed Socrates into the water … Continue reading Socrates: Do You Want Wisdom as Much as You Want Air?