“The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable”

When I wrote “the situation” of the “ethically blind” in Jefferson Parish yesterday, I thought of those who have had their “sight restored” as the story of corruption in Jefferson Parish unfolds.

I can’t count the times I’ve said or done something and later thought “I can’t believe I said that” or “I can’t believe I did that” – often enough to remember the miserable feeling that follows realizing you’ve made a mistake. I can’t imagine how much more miserable it must be to make a mistake and realize you’re among the “cast of characters” in the story of corruption in Jefferson Parish. However, it would not surprise me to learn some of our readers know that feeling well.

Confessing and apologizing to the person I’ve offended is the only relief I’ve found for my “foot in mouth” induced misery. Fortunately, it’s not a crime to make a thoughtless remark. Unfortunately, the many of the mistakes we read about in news stories and blog posts about Jefferson Parish are far more serious.

In that regard, those who do not want to be the next Martha Stewart or Bobby DeLaughter may want to read How to Avoid Going to Jail under 18 U.S.C. Section 1001 for Lying to Government Agents.

Did you know that it is a crime to tell a lie to the federal government? Even if your lie is oral and not under oath? Even if you have received no warnings of any kind? Even if you are not trying to cheat the government out of money? Even if the government is not actually misled by your falsehood? Well it is.

Everyone, on the other hand, would benefit from reading Truth Wins Lawsuits , a speech presented in a December 2001  meeting of the New Orleans Bar Association:

The principles defining what is morally good and morally bad in human activity are promulgated and sanctioned by the natural law as the expression in rational nature of God’s design for man. By virtue of the natural law man is vested with certain rights and obligations. These rights and obligations are every man’s endowment in virtue of his very nature; they are beyond the reach of men and government. It is the high purpose of human law to protect the right of each by assuring the reign of justice fer all. Therefore, human law cannot be exempted from the directive influence of the natural law without in varying degree exposing the juridical process to the arbitrary will of men – this is the sole basis of a just and sound legal system.

“The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable”.

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