Rules About Trust

I’ve talked about it lots of times before: The high cost of lying and deception — by politicians and police, corporate executives and clergy, even journalists, accountants and educators — has been to weaken every major social institution. As each of these institutions wages its separate battle

NINE-ELEVEN IMAGES

The second plane crashes into the World Trade Center.   . Survivors leave the World Trade Center Site. . . New York City Skyline - World Trade Center .

COMMENTARY: Excellence Is Achievable

As I watched nearly five dozen eager graduates of the Los Angeles Police Academy throw their hats in the air celebrating their achievement, I knew they were the survivors of a rigorous training, and that their journey wasn’t over. Ahead of them would be a full year of supervised field training, and it’s unlikely all of them would make it …

COMMENTARY 970.3: Loopholes and Slippery Slopes

As a former law professor, I know all about loopholes. I trained students to find omissions and ambiguities in wording — a perfectly legal way to evade the clear intent of laws and agreements. After all, that’s what lawyers are paid to do. And, despite commonly expressed disdain when lawyers do this, that’s precisely what most clients want and expect when …

COMMENTARY 970.2: A Government Program That Is Working

I was pleasantly surprised that my visit to detention camps for juvenile girls run by the Los Angeles Probation Department turned out to be encouraging and uplifting. Instead of finding a cadre of angry and hostile girls in a punitive prison setting, I saw clean classrooms attended by very

The Efficacy and Morality of Brutal Interrogations and Use of Deadly Force

PAY ATTENTION! TAKE A POSITION! SPEAK UP! I believe we are at a moral crossroad. And we must think carefully before we decide which road to take. Since out founding the values of America were embodies in grand and lofty documents including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, especially the Preamble and the Bill of Rights.All of us who …

Historical Context for What is Going on in Ferguson and New York City: The Kerner Report

The summers of 1964-1967 were marked by civil disorders, rioting and looting in African-American neighborhoods of major cities including Los Angeles (Watts Riot of 1965), Chicago (Division Street Riots of 1966), Newark (1967 Newark riots) and Detroit (1967 Detroit Riots) In all, these disorders resulted in millions of dollars of damage[1] and the loss of 83 lives. In response, President Lyndon Johnson …

You Can’t Lose by Relentlessly Pursuing Excellence

As I embark on a pilgrimage with my 65-year-old little brother to see the Baseball Hall of Fame, I am also frantically trying to complete a book on “The Exemplary Policing Organization.” As my two worlds collided, I got to thinking about what it means to be exemplary, to be one of the best ever at something — to be worthy of …

Memo From Michael: Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

There is always, always something to be thankful about. Gratitude should be felt and experienced sincerely, expressed generously and received graciously. If you want to be on speaking terms with happiness, learn the language of gratitude.

MEMO From Michael: Youth Violence and Bullying

Just last month in a weekly memo I asked if violence and mass killings had become our new reality. That was prompted by the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. Since then, the headlines have continued to shock and sadden us with news of seemingly random acts of violence. Some might ask: Since when has the news media not brought us …

MEMO From Michael: Violence and Mass Killings: Our New Reality?

What a sad irony that right after re-living the tragedies of the 9/11 terrorist attacks we are confronted with another senseless mass shooting, resulting in 12 deaths and eight injuries at the Washington Navy Yard. And while we are digesting that, 13 people were shot in a Chicago, apparently the result of a random shooting by a roving gang. Do …

A Letter from Bogota: What Do You Think About CHARACTER COUNTS! in Colombia?

I am writing this post from Bogota, Colombia. I am halfway through a full week of high-level meetings and various presentations to educators, parents and government officials. What am I talking about? Ethics and character, of course. More specifically, I am sharing my thoughts and the Institute’s strategies and programs dealing with character development, parenting, education reform and the corruption …

A Personal Note From Michael

It’s been an interesting and challenging couple of weeks with three major events taking place in my life: 1) I just returned from a 4-day trip to Hawaii. I was there to address the 4-H Western Regional Leadership Forum – about 300 staff, volunteer and student leaders of one of the oldest youth programs in the nation. 4-H has been …

COMMENTARY 773.3: What’s So Important About the Law?

Did you know today is Law Day? In 1958 President Eisenhower declared May 1st Law Day to honor the critical role of law in our unique constitutional democracy. It may seem peculiar to some to celebrate the concept and reality of law, but the truth is that most of us vastly under-appreciate the significance of law to our way of thinking …

COMMENTARY 763.4: Being Basically Honest

After a workshop, a fellow came up to me and complained that I had made him feel uncomfortable. “I’m not perfect,” he said, “But I’m basically honest.” His implication was that it’s unfair to expect people to be honest all the time. His comment reminded me of a cartoon where one fellow confided to another, “I admire Webster’s honesty, but …

WORTH READING: Rampant cheating in schools

According to the 2010 Josephson Institute Report Card of American Youth,  a survey of more than 40,000 high school students, a majority of students (59 percent) admitted cheating on a test during the last year, with 34 percent doing it more than two times. One in three admitted they used the Internet to plagiarize an assignment. On lying, more than two …

WORTH READING: “Michael’s words have changed my world and I have transcended his words into my actions.” — Essay contest winner Jim Uhl , police officer and professor

In the fall, about 80 listeners to Michael Josephson’s radio commentaries submitted essays describing how his daily messages affected their lives. Ten finalists were selected, and a vote of readers of Michael’s newsletter and this blog selected the winners.  Here is the entry of one of the five winners, Jim Uhl. St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel at all times;  …

Personal Note From Michael Josephson: Closing Out 2011, Entering 2012

As I began to write this note conveying my best wishes to you for a happy and fulfilling New Year, I asked myself whether 2011 was, for me, a good year or a bad year. And, of course, my mind quickly filled with conflicting memories of happy and sad moments, achievements and disappointments, and the recognition that every year has …

Achievements and Challenges: A Personal Note from Michael

Dear Friend, This has been a year full of great achievements and challenges. On the achievement side, the Josephson Institute and CHARACTER COUNTS!  have expanded our impact on children and the nation through the introduction of CHARACTER COUNTS! 4.0 (a major upgrade in strategy and services). We have begun to restore the best of Puerto Rico’s ethical culture with Tus …

OBSERVATION: I Changed My Mind – What do you think?

In this week’s newsletter you will read a commentary, “Say It Ain’t So, Joe,” where I argued that we should give the benefit of the doubt to legendary coach Joe Paterno, who should have done more to assure that the accusation that former coach Jerry Sandusky raped a young boy in a Penn State shower room was brought to the …

COMMENTARY: “Say it Ain’t So, Joe” 748.4

“Say it ain’t so, Joe” These words, directed at Shoeless Joe Jackson as he emerged from a courthouse where he and seven other White Sox players were accused of taking bribes to manipulate games, expressed the profound sense of betrayal and disappointment suffered when an idol falls from grace.  Though Jackson, one of the finest players of his era, claimed …

I’m Not Fixing the Dent 732.5

Relentless rehashing of Casey Anthony’s trial and her present whereabouts, the ever-widening scandal involving media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Britain’s top cops, and shameless posturing by feuding politicians unwilling to agree on a budget, all make it so hard to pay attention to more important things, like the human dimension of unemployment, the suffering of soldiers maimed and killed in …

Freedom From Ideological Tyranny 730.1

The Fourth of July should be more than a birthday celebration marked by fireworks. It’s a time to appreciate and honor the great democracy our forefathers created, including a profoundly wise system of Constitutional checks and balances. Conflicting views of rights and responsibilities are unavoidable, but passionate disagreement and debate should strengthen rather than undermine our commitment to peacefully and …

Heartwrenching to Heartwarming 714.1

The huge 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan and the still unfolding consequences of tsunamis rolling to shores all over the world are just the latest reminders of our vulnerability to unpredictable, unavoidable, massive natural disasters. In 2004, more than 200,000 people (mostly Indonesians) died in an Indian Ocean tsunami. A year later, an earthquake in Pakistan killed about 80,000. Last year, …

Firefighters, Cops, and Soldiers 712.3

A few days ago, a massive crowd gathered in downtown Los Angeles to pay tribute to firefighter Glenn Allen, who died in action. It was an impressive and solemn ceremony well covered by the local media and attended by thousands of fellow firefighters and the city’s leading politicians. The testimonials on behalf of the 61-year-old firefighter were eloquent and sincere …