the jade raid

Thursday, November 30, 2006

In class last Wednesday, we got into a heated discussion about current ethical issues in our society. The topic of conversation was originally suppossed to be about the ADA trying to "clean up its act" by making changes in how it promotes and endorses its name. It has stopped putting its logo on low sugar/high calorie foods that could be aiding the obesity problem in this country which is a known cause of diabetes. So far, the ADA has turned down millions and created new guidelines for its corporate funding as efforts to clean up its name. Then, the discussion took a different turn.

What would you say or how would you feel if MADD accepted funding/donations from an alcohol company? Would that make you feel comfortable with the group's morals? What they stand for? Or would you just be pissed off? I made remarks and expressed my feelings on how I'd feel if this were the case, and some people in the class apparently didn't like what I had to say. I'm not an idiot. I know that alcohol is not the root of all evil, that it's harmless when it sits on the shelf in the grocery store and that it only becomes a problem when too much of it is consumed by the wrong person. I never intended for anyone to misunderstand what I was saying in thinking that I meant that we should blame alcohol for all the world's problems. I know what these companies stand for, what they endorse and what their intents/goals are. All I meant was that for an organization who is actively against drinking/drunk driving to accept money from the comany who produces "the enemy" (in its eyes) is wrong! It's just flat out wrong.

By the way people, this is an ethics class. One where someone has repeatedly claimed that since "everyone is doing it, that's how business works" so it's ok. It makes me cringe to think how this person will perform business when he/she is in the real world. This is why PR gets a bad name. I think as ethics students, if we don't take what we've learned and use it in this world, then we will never see change. Have we (rather, some of us) learned nothing in this class? I don't want to be a part of that, and I hope that when I'm out there "doing my PR thing" that I remember these lessons and use them to the best of my ability. I hope you all will do the same.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Being educated on other cultures and their traditions/holidays is an important factor in PR. As professionals, we should be aware of these things when scheduling events for our companies. It is an issue of respect and also may affect our audience. It is important to know who you are talking to.

Where can cosmopolitianism take us in PR? This has been the question over the past few weeks in class. I think that this "lifestyle idea" could be a positive addition to our business culture. So many of us are too caught up in our own lives that we can't even see the world around us in need. Anthony Appiah suggests in his book that "when confronted with need, we should offer our help." I couldn't agree with this statement more. Helping others not only gives us a sense of pride, but the work of one can truly make a difference. I am not looking to be a hero or even an icon, but I do hope that someday I have the funds to devote myself to a cause that has affected my life.

Appiah also says that "doing this good does not mean abandoning our own lives, but that we shouldn't throw up our hands in despair either." I think (well, NOW atleast) that if we were to pull our troops out of Iraq it would be like giving up. At this point, we have too much invested in this war, and we can't quit despite the fact that there has been little change if any in our efforts. This is a concern for the lives of all Americans because I'm sure everyone knows someone who has been killed or is currently fighting in Iraq. It's a touchy subject.

I like what Appiah said about using "clear headedness, not heroism." If more Americans thought with a clear head, then maybe there would be more good done for more people. Personally, I am one of those people who believes that everyone matters because no matter what, we are all human. This is what unifies us. If I don't care about my neighbor, then why should he/she care about me. I hope that more people develop and utilize the skills that Appiah teaches us in his book. It's time for us to care. Changes need to be made. This is how this lifestyle can help us in PR.

A quote to leave you with: "Stay curtious. Be concerned always. This is how changes are made. This is who/what makes a difference."

Saturday, November 18, 2006

In class last Wednesday, we discussed how our society has issues with change and differences. When one sees someone who looks different or is opposite from themselves in personality, the decision is made not to like or associate with them. This I feel is a problem. How are we ever going to come together as a whole and a nation if we can't accept each other's differences. This is why we did the following exercise to step out of our comfort zone. Here is what I learned...

A girl I've seen about a million times since becoming a PR major at North Texas is 25 years old. Her name is Shauna, and she grew up in North Richland Hills, a suburb of Ft. Worth. She is a second year senior and will not graduate for another year. The reason school is taking her so long to finish is a result of her being a photography major for four years when she decided to change to PR. Following graduation, she and her fiance, who is in the Air Force, are going to get married.

A couple of strange things we have in common are that we both consider ourselves to be moderately liberal and have Catholic mothers. She however, tends to vote solely Democratic while I am an issue-based voter. I haven't made the "party affiliation decision" yet in my life, so this works for now. I know what I stand for.

Another difference between us is that she is engaged and therefore ready to take that step in life. I on the other hand am not ready or willing to make that sort of commitment in my life at this time. For one, I don't have a potential candidate for the position of husband right now, nor do I think I know myself well enough to jump into a life with someone. I respect Shauna for being ready.

I'm glad we did this exercise. It is so easy to get stuck in "the rut" or only hanging out with the people you know that we forget there is a whole other world out there full of new people to meet. Moving to New York not only will force me to socialize with strangers but open up a whole new path for me to break away from my comfort zone. I can't wait!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

President Bush has recently been talking about his new defense secretary as an "agent of change" for the U.S. and the war in Iraq. Bush chose a former CIA director and pragmatist, Robert Gates, who is "expected to be more inclined to consensus-building than the combative Rumsfeld," said an article on Google News.

If this is so, then I find it interesting that the bigger news is of a car-bombing in Baghdad that killed eight people. The U.S. military has said that it is prepared to make some necessary changes in its Iraq strategy. All I can say is that it's about time. I hate seeing our men dye, but I think they have trust in the good they are trying to achieve.

President Bush feels that Gates "will provide a fresh outlook on our strategy in Iraq, and what we need to do to prevail." I'm not sure if I have faith in that statement or even the war so much anymore. I haven't really seen any changes in all the years we've been over there. It seems not much or not enough has happened to this point. I hope that the future and this new defense secretary will be the start to a new positive wave in our government.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I need to express something personal. I know the point of this blog (for class use) is to discuss current issues and newsy topics, but this is a current issue in my life.

As I get older, it seems relationships and men have become even more confusing and difficult to understand. Why is it that when you give everything you have, so many times you get nothing in return? I've talked about trust recently in a blog and told about how times have changed in that you can't trust your neighbor anymore. You give your heart to someone who takes advantage of your being a good person and end up getting stepped on. I don't want to be naive, but I also don't want to completely lose my "innocence in the world" views and become a complete cynic. I want to be in between and trust in love/relationships/people.

I hope that as I grow more into myself, in turn becoming the woman I want to be in this world that I don't look at life with cynical views and distrust for my people. I believe there is a plan for everything and everyone; I guess sometimes waiting just isn't appealing. But when "I don't know" is the only answer you've been given, that is no reason to keep waiting.

Torn apart? Yes. Will I be ok? Yes. I know my own strength, and I can see it being the characteristic that gets me through future hard times. Since I was a little girl, it has been known/my dream to move to New York and work in the professional world. Is it going to be hard? Yes, of that I am aware. But it is my strength that I know will carry me through once I'm there. I am not afraid. I know that no matter what, it always works out ("it" being many things here).

"Troubles will come and they will pass," said Lynard Skynard. This should be all of our lives motto. This age is just a difficult and confusing one for all. I hope I find happiness.....

In an effort to make Americans better and healthier, some places and food companies/restaurants are making changes in the products they put on the market...and in turn, feed us. Cities like New York and Chicago are making efforts to pass legislation where 'trans fats' are banned altogether. This has posed a big problem for some major companies though. Krispy Kreme, whose doughnuts are famous for their flavor, have a large amount of trans fats in them. This ban could wind up being the end of some chains, if it passes.

The question is: are Americans willing and ready to become healthier? This ingredient that is present in so many of the foods we consume is the reason why so many of us are overweight, obese, unhealthy/dying of heartattacks or other related illnesses, and deemed as the most unhealthy nation. It is time to change this and start doing something about it as a country. We are literally killing one anothereveryday. It makes me ask myself, do those big wigs at Krispy Kreme eat those doughnuts themselves knowing what they know about the consequences? If they don't, why should we?

I hope this ban passes, as well as migrates down south and across the country. We can't keep eating this way and expect to sustain as a people. I'm ready to see change.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Last week and continuing into this week in class, we have been talking about the Enron scandal. My eyes have been opened to the "cause and effect" that stems from unethical behavior. It seems those men were so wrapped up in telling lies that they chose to continue lying and gambling away money to try and get out of it.

The deeper they dug themselves into this false existence, the more lies they had to construct to stay afloat. Not only was what they were doing illegal, but it was unethical and hurt a lot of people. Money was gambled away that never actually belonged to Enron. They played with the market, and the market won.

The rolling blackouts in California was a cause of Enron's gambling with the market. They experimented with cutting out electricity in areas of the state to raise the market/stock prices. People were paying extremely high electric bills as a result, and that money was being pocketed by Enron officials. If that isn't the most unethical thing I've heard of in our society, I don't know what is.

I am so amazed that Ken Lay and Jeff Skillings could sleep with themselves at night knowing what they were doing. The most discusting thing of it all is that they couldn't even be men and fess up to their wrong-doing. The weren't men and they are worthless as business professionals. They are not leaders; they are the creators of leading a life of lies.

This makes me sick to my stomach, and I hope I never come across working for a company who does business like this. I would walk out in the instant that I felt uncomfortable, and that's a fact. This is unacceptable and unforgivable. I'm glad that they were caught and justice is atleast trying to be served. Some already has been, but there is still so much left to be done in this situation.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

In today's world, one cannot "trust their neighbor" anymore. There was a time when kids could ride their bikes around town, and parents never worried whether or not they would return safely. Today, parents have to live with the thought of registered sex offenders living in their neighborhoods and all around them. This is not a thought I would feel comfortable with if I were a parent.

Lately, Congress has been discussing/formulating the possibility of passing a law against these offenders. It would regulate where they could live, like maybe a certain distance from schools, day care centers, playgrounds, churches, parks, etc. There are a few problems with this though; is it unconstitutional to basically outcast these people?

A 19 year-old college sophomore (boy) and a 17 year-old college freshman (girl) are dating. Her parents find out that the two are sleeping together, and now he is registered as a sex offender for the rest of his life. This is reality for one student, and I'm sure reality for many others as well. Is this fair? Can we pass a law with extenuating circumstances? Probably not.

Although I like the idea of this law, I'm not sure how it would work. I don't agree with the 19 year-old having to register as an offender. That is completely unfair to him. He will have this hanging over his head for the rest of his life. However, I want my children to be safe. Maybe we should work on changing our laws of what classifies a sex offender, instead of trying to pass a new one to prevent them. This I think would be a better first step.