Gratitude – The Great Key to Happiness

"Sunday Sermon" Happiness - Gratitude versus Expectations and Entitlement Dennis Prager, my favorite commentator, observed: Yes, there is a “secret to happiness”—and it is gratitude. All happy people are grateful, and ungrateful people cannot be happy. We tend to think that it is being unhappy that leads people to complain, but it is truer to … Continue reading Gratitude – The Great Key to Happiness

My Case of the YouTube Star Who Jumped off Hotel Balconies

"Court Case Friday" YouTube Star Hotel Jumper I presided over an interesting case involving a YouTube “Star.”  The young man filmed himself jumping off very high balconies or roofs of hotels into their swimming pools.  Apparently, when he posted the videos on YouTube, he had so many “views” and “likes” that advertisers were eager to … Continue reading My Case of the YouTube Star Who Jumped off Hotel Balconies

Happiness is a Choice

Happiness is a choice, not a condition This is generally true. I say “generally” because there are exceptional circumstances where one’s condition can interfere with the ability to choose happiness. These conditions include: severe depression, extreme pain, major illness, heavy addiction, extreme hunger, starvation. But for most people, happiness is a choice. While I was … Continue reading Happiness is a Choice

We Can Never Judge Another’s Heart

After a lifetime of experience as a judge, bishop, and father, I am convinced that we are never, ever, in a position to judge another’s heart. Prospective jurors often ask to be excused saying, “I cannot judge another person.”  I explain: “You are not being asked to judge whether the defendant is a good person … Continue reading We Can Never Judge Another’s Heart

An Eccentric Criminal’s Letter to Me: “Dear Satan and Your Whore”

“Dear Satan and Your Whore” One of my biggest challenges as a judge is to quickly differentiate between a person with an “attitude,” or a person who is eccentric, or a person who has mental health issues. This is not always easy. If the person “cops” an “attitude,” I am very fast and firm in putting … Continue reading An Eccentric Criminal’s Letter to Me: “Dear Satan and Your Whore”

Police Reform (3/10): “Remove the Bad Apples”

The worst thing for the reputation of law enforcement is a dirty, corrupt, or violent officer. A very small percentage of police officers are "bad apples." But "one bad apple can spoil the bunch.” A “bad apple” in law enforcement undermines public support for the police and taints the reputations of good officers. I am … Continue reading Police Reform (3/10): “Remove the Bad Apples”

More Very “Eccentric” Criminals

The Traffic Trial with the Vow of Silence  Occasionally, I am “forced” to handle traffic court trials. I do not like these kinds of cases. The defendant’s frequently lie, slander the officer, and refuse to accept responsibility for their own conduct. I would much rather deal with “real” criminals, who are more generally more honest … Continue reading More Very “Eccentric” Criminals