Serious issues put discipline to ultimate test

Friday, November 14, 2014

In case you don't think self-discipline is an issue in this country, check out today's news about how the lack thereof has serious consequences.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel wants to spend billions of dollars to fix the system in charge of our nuclear weapons, but it's not entirely clear to us how simply throwing money at a problem can solve leadership lapses, security flaws and sagging morale.

It's not difficult to see how Navy and Air Force exam-cheating scandals had their roots in the culture of public school systems more and more prone to "teach to the test," while severely limiting tools teachers and parents are able to use to enforce discipline.

Cheating on a junior-high math test is one thing, but taking shortcuts when it comes to weapons capable of wiping out entire cities is another.

It's also one thing to chat on your cell phone in study hall, but when you're in charge of protecting the most powerful man in the free word, it's another.

According to a story in the New York Times, when Omar Gonzales climbed the White House Fence, ran across the lawn and made it into the East Room before being apprehended two months ago, one of the best defensive tools -- a guard dog -- was hobbled by its handler.

The canine officer, stationed in a van on the White House driveway, was chatting on his personal cell phone on speaker, and had taken his earpiece out of his ear, unable to be alerted about the intruder.

Both the dog handler and other pursuing officers thought the intruder wouldn't be able to get through some bushes into the executive mansion, but they were wrong.

Inside, he overpowered a female officer, who grabbed her flashlight instead of a baton when attempting to subdue him. He eventually was tackled and arrested.

Nebraskans take a little solace in the fact that some people in our state, the Biocontainment Unit at the Nebraska Medical Center, have their act together.

Another doctor is on his way to the hospital for treatment, which has been 100 percent successful, so far.

The unit is the largest of only four such units in the country qualified care for Ebola patients.

Protecting the president, handling nuclear weapons, dealing with one of the world's most deadly diseases are all unforgiving tests for personal discipline.

You can be sure that medical workers at the biocontainment unit work by the book, following protocol to a "T."

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