Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lack of Integrity in the News

Last night, I heard a story about US Army Major Cockerham, a man, who when assigned to the Army Contracting Agency's Southern Hemisphere Mission Support took about 10 Million dollars in bribes. His wife, also, was implicated in the investigation. Now it took some researching, but I found out that the base pay for such an officer is about $5K/month – then they get all sorts of housing allowances and other stuff (not sure what it is, actually, but it equates to money). In short, this was a couple that was not starving.

In the same NPR news report, they mentioned a sports story. Yeah, when regular news reports on sports, chances are it concerns someone who has done something wrong. And this time, they did not mention Michael Vick. They mentioned some guy (Tim Donaghy, I love Google!), a referee, who threw games for money. Okay, I did not listen to the whole story – after all, it is basketball – but apparently he is a gambler who got behind on some bets. Something like that. Apparently the referees can shave points off of games by blowing their whistles, and he did so. Again, lack of integrity. And for what, money?

And Leesa thinks . . .

And Leesa thinks . . .

And Leesa thinks for her third example of a lack of integrity . . .

I could not think of any – because I am tire this morning (and I did not want to use another sports story) – so I went to Google news. Top Story: an article about Attorney General Gonzales denying Tuesday that he had improperly pressured John Ashcroft to sign an authorization for the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program in 2004 when Mr. Ashcroft, the Attorney General at the time, lay in a hospital bed, in pain and on sedatives after surgery. That story is not as sexy as other ones. Point is that it is not hard to find where people have lacked integrity.

You know, a while back (years ago, actually), I was put on medication to help me cope with some emotional issues (that sounds better than an anxiety disorder). Anyway, it was when I was making some bad choices in my life. My therapist told me that it would help with certain drugs in my brain – all of our thoughts are just chemical reactions after all, a scary thought. Anyway, the drug helped with the anxiety attacks, but not until I addressed issues concerning my lack of integrity did I start to get better.

In short, when I worked on the cause of my anxiety – living a life different than my value system – I started to get better. Ouch, what does this have to do with integrity in the news? Perhaps nothing. Perhaps everything. If we all lived like we are suppose to live, this world would be a happier place. Maybe not several million in the bank, but it is probably easier to sleep at night.

9 comments:

Ian Lidster said...

The only person you can truly conflict with is yourself, so if you are violating your own integrity, then you are going to be unwell. At least, most of us are, if not the bastards that you mentioned whom I cannot fathom being able to sleep at night. I couldn't.
But, yeah. When I (like you) went through some 'stuff' a number of years ago, I realized that certain behaviors were shaming me about myself. When I changed the behaviors (and it wasn't entirely easy, because they were enticing) my life became much sweeter. And, without any drugs to make it sweeter.
Good blog my lovely friend.
Ian

Advizor said...

I appreciated your comments about your own experiences and it is depressingly true that we don't have to look far for lots of bad examples.

Leesa said...

ian: yeah, change is hard - and many of us don't want to change ANYTHING about ourselves, even if it means we shorten our lives.

advizor: long time, no see. Bad examples aplenty, unfortunately.

Prata said...

Define "the way we're supposed to live". I think you're going to need to clarify that a bit before you can apply this line of thought to a global understanding.

RWA said...

I think some people prefer to sacrifice their integrity, what little they may or may not have, for the sake of, primarily, greed.

That's unfortunate.

It will be interesting to see how the Donahy issue plays out.

mal said...

integrity looks easy until you have to do it. So many people (myself included) start the slide down the slippery slope when they start worrying about what is expedient rather than what is right. I was fortunate that I always had at least one direct report and the OH to pull me up short when needed. I think that, more than a set of boobs caused me to hit the glass ceiling.

I blame the current despicable state of American business on the expedient mindset

Leesa said...

prata: okay, okay, maybe soon.

rwa: perhaps the NBA will be looking for a few good men.

mal: interesting conclusion.

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