The Breakfast Table

The Sixth Commandment

Yes… Well, we’re certainly praying for the mortal soul of John Forbes Kerry around here.

Meanwhile, there’s been a huge flap concerning my possible mis-use of the Sixth Commandment in today’s column. To make a long story short, even the Catholic Encyclopedia allows that there are “discrepancies” in the numbering on the Commandments (Exodus XX, and also Deuteronomy, for those of you following at home). I said that Princess Di broke Commandment No. 6. In the World Almanac, No. 6 is “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” My editors were calling for my head.

But just as my stock was executing its own little Black Wednesday, a friend referred me to… the Thomas Aquinas web site! Of course! So Aquinas says I got it right! End of discussion.

I just got off the phone with a writer named L.J. Davis, who viciously savages Nick Negroponte of MIT’s Media Lab in an upcoming book. The book, The Billionaire Shell Game, doesn’t really turn me on, but the anti-Nick invective is astonishing. “Arrogant crackpot…highly flexible notion of the truth…When it came to curbing his tongue and moderating his ego, Nicholas Negroponte had a problem.” Gee whiz, can’t people write nice things about each other? I mean, what about the Golden Rule, or the Fifth Amendment, sorry, Commandment, or whatever?

Gotta go, Margo. See if Dick Friedman knows anything blondes roaming Louisburg Square, would you please? I don’t think he’s taking my calls.