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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Favorite Holiday

“Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors." — Abraham Lincoln

Of all the holidays we celebrate in the United States Thanksgiving is my favorite. It is a holiday when we gather with family give thanks for our blessings and unite with family. It marks the end of the harvest season when the crops are in and the farmers can take stock of the year and begin planning for next year’s plantings.

Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Thanksgiving is celebrated each year on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States.

Thanksgiving in North America had originated from a mix of European and Native traditions. Typically in Europe, festivals were held before and after the harvest cycles to give thanks for a good harvest, and to rejoice together after much hard work with the rest of the community. At the time, Native Americans had also celebrated the end of a harvest season. When Europeans first arrived to the Americas, they brought with them their own harvest festival traditions from Europe, celebrating their safe voyage, peace and good harvest. Though the origins of the holiday in both Canada and the United States are similar, Americans do not typically celebrate the contributions made in Newfoundland, while Canadians do not celebrate the contributions made in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

n the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition traces its origins to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. There is also evidence for an earlier harvest celebration on the continent by Spanish explorers in Texas at San Elizario in 1598, as well as thanksgiving feasts in the Virginia Colony. The initial thanksgiving observance at Virginia in 1619 was prompted by the colonists' leaders on the anniversary of the settlement. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. In later years, the tradition was continued by civil leaders such as Governor Bradford who planned a thanksgiving celebration and fast in 1623. While initially, the Plymouth colony did not have enough food to feed half of the 102 colonists, the Wampanoag Native Americans helped the Pilgrims by providing seeds and teaching them to fish. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival like this did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s.

Thanksgiving in the United States was observed on various dates throughout history. The dates of Thanksgiving in the era of the Founding Fathers until the time of Lincoln had been decided by each state on various dates. The first Thanksgiving celebrated on the same date by all states was in 1863 by presidential proclamation. The final Thursday in November had become the customary date of Thanksgiving in most U.S. states by the beginning of the 20th century. And so, in an effort by President Abraham Lincoln (influenced by the campaigning of author Sarah Josepha Hale who wrote letters to politians for around 40 years trying to make it an official holiday), to foster a sense of American unity between the Northern and Southern states, proclaimed the date to be the final Thursday in November.

It was not until December 26, 1941, that the unified date changed to the fourth Thursday (and not always final) in November -this time by federal legislation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, after two years earlier offering his own proclamation to move the date earlier, with the reason of giving the country an economic boost, agreed to sign a bill into law with Congress, making Thanksgiving a national holiday on the fourth (not final) Thursday in November.

I can still remember, as a child, growing up in World War II, the family thanksgiving celebrations we had. The entire family would gather at either our home or the home of one of my aunts and uncles to have a big thanksgiving feast There would be turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, rutabagas, green beans, cranberry sauce, and homemade mince or pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Sometimes a small ham would be added as my father did not care for turkey.

We would all gather around a big table, usually made from combining two tables, and sit for the feast. Afterwards the women would clear the table and the men would gather in the living room to discuss world events.

As a youngster in elementary school we would have pageants depicting the first Thanksgiving where we would dress as pilgrims and Indians with paper hats and whatever clothes we could muster that would make us look like pilgrims. Some of the boys and girls would paint their faces to resemble Indian and carry a toy bow with those arrows with suction cups on their tips.

The teacher would read us the story of the first Thanksgiving and the entire class would sing the famous Lydia Maria Child song “Over the River.” I still can recall the first verse:

“Over the river, and through the wood,

To Grandfather's house we go;

The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh

through the white and drifted snow.”

It was a grand time for the entire class.

I recall one Thanksgiving in 1950 when it began snowing late in he afternoon. The dinner as at our house and my uncles left early for fear of bad driving conditions. The next morning we awoke to about 15 inches of snow on the ground and it was still snowing. By Saturday we had well over two feet of snow blocking our street. It was a fortunate thing we had plenty of leftovers as we were nor able to get to the stores until Monday or Tuesday of the next week.

As TV became available we would watch the traditional Thanksgiving professional football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions. We would also watch the Macy’s Christmas Parade on our little 10” black and white TV set.

Over the years the football games have changed a bit with the addition of the Dallas Cowboys and the Macy’s Parade has turned into a commercial loaded celebrity event that doesn’t interest me any longer.

The stores would begin to be decorated for Christmas after Thanksgiving. Now they are decorated at Halloween. We never put lights on the exterior of our house until 1960, and the lights we had were pretty basic and of the type were when one build burned out the entire string would go dark.

Thanksgiving, unlike Christmas, is a holiday every American can celebrate. It is a holiday about giving thanks for our blessings from God and the gathering of the family. It is not political or religious beyond the sense of giving thanks to God.

In many ways Thanksgiving has been turned into a holiday of travel and shopping today. We have commercials touting “Black Friday” the day after Thanksgiving when the stores open at 12:01 am and people crowd in to buy the latest fad toy or something on sale. The Macy’s Parade, as I mentioned, is nothing but one giant commercial with celebrities touting their latest TV show and cutaways to professional singers and dancers. Only the football games have stayed the same. This year it will be Green Bay at Detroit and Miami at Dallas.

With all of the changes and commercialization Thanksgiving remains my favorite holiday. In many homes across the land it is a holiday centered on family and giving thanks. It is also a holiday where the next day you can enjoy the delicious left overs and celebrate all over again by hanging your outdoor lights

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Reversal on Happy Valley

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” —Proverbs 14:34

The Penn State scandal is so disturbing that it’s hard to even write about. When I first heard Joe Paterno had been fired, I thought and wrote that perhaps it was an overreaction on the part of Penn State’s board of trustees. But as I read more about some of the details of the case, I quickly realized I was wrong. As it turns out, Paterno is a split legal hair away from being guilty of covering up a heinous crime spree that staggers the moral imagination of the average American.

As we all know by now, in 2002, assistant football coach Mike McQueary, then a graduate assistant at Penn State, allegedly saw defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sodomizing a 10-year-old boy in the locker-room shower. To McQueary’s credit, he immediately reported the incident to Coach Paterno.

However, one of the questions people are asking is: Should McQueary, who was then 28 years of age, have gone to the police instead of, or in addition to, telling Paterno? Probably. But I’m willing to stretch my moral slack cutter enough to believe that the youthful McQueary was probably panicked about witnessing such an unfathomable crime and rationalized that he had done his duty by reporting it to the head coach.

Paterno, in turn, reported the incident to Athletic Director Timothy Curley. The same question applies: Should Paterno have gone to the police instead of, or in addition to, telling Curley? Here I have a problem with cutting JoePa much slack.

At the time, Paterno was a 73-year-old prominent role model who had been the head of one of the most prestigious college football programs in the United States for nearly four decades. I’m at a loss to understand why he didn’t follow up, and follow up, and continue to follow up in an effort to find out what action was being taken against Sandusky. (According to the grand jury indictment of Sandusky, “it was within The Second Mile Program that Sandusky found his victims.” Sandusky founded the charity to help troubled youths.)

If Paterno did not follow up, he is an accomplice to the cover-up of a horrific crime. On the other hand, if he did follow up and was told that the university was not going to press charges against Sandusky, he had a moral obligation to take action on his own. And, again, if he did not take such action, he was guilty of repressing information about a serious crime.

Curley and Gary Schultz, Penn State’s senior vice president for finance and business, did not report the incident to the police, but did ban Sandusky from bringing children into the Penn State locker room. By definition, not notifying the authorities amounted to obstruction of justice, a felony that has put many a high-profile person behind bars.

The Penn State embarrassment brings back memories of another iconic football coach, Woody Hayes, who was fired from Ohio State University the morning after he shocked the sports world by punching a Clemson player during the 1978 Gator Bowl. What was different in the Hayes case, however, was that there was no crime charged and his inappropriate behavior was witnessed by a stadium full of fans and millions of television viewers.

The issue is much bigger than coaches like Paterno and Hayes, who believe that winning football games is the most important thing in life. The broader issue is the deification of college sports by millions of mindless fans, which sends a bad signal to students who are supposed to be focused on getting a good education.

This is a larger issue than Joe Paterno or Penn State. It’s an issue revolving about the state of our colleges and universities today. n the Duke lacrosse case, the very first advice a dean gave to the lacrosse players -- threatened with possible indictment on first-degree rape charges -- was not to tell their parents. The next advice was not to get attorneys. (And the dean giving this advice was herself a member of the Bar.)

The primary goal was to keep the story out of the news. That would be best for Duke. (It was clearly not in the best interest of the players.) When the university learned the players had in fact gotten attorneys, its displeasure was palpable.

Thereafter, Duke did its utmost to wash its hands of its falsely accused students — the better to demonstrate that it had nothing to do with any possible racism, sexism, hubris, or privileged class status supposedly revealed by the case. The university president, Richard Brodhead, kept an antiseptic distance from the lacrosse players: he never communicated with them; he refused to look at evidence of their innocence; he turned down requests to meet with their parents. They became anathema to him — and it was important that they be publicly seen to be an anathema to Duke. Duke's reputation before the community required it.

The chairman of Duke's board of trustees, Robert K. Steel, told one of the boys' defenders that it would be "best for Duke" if they were tried. "Best for Duke." It wouldn't matter if there were convictions, because "it could all be sorted out on appeal." Blatantly innocent students (proven so by DNA tests two weeks before the first arrests in the case were made) should have to bear the burden of public opprobrium, a vindictive and (in Durham) biased trial, and possible conviction — all because it would be "best for Duke." As Steel also allegedly said to fellow trustees, Duke was not defending its students because "sometimes people have to suffer for the good of the organization."

That organization reserved all its animus for its own; it never had a bad word for Nifong, the disgraced and dismissed prosecutor, nor for the false accuser. In fact, it cooperated with the prosecutor, handing over private student information in violation of FERPA and then lying about it to the court, not to mention joining with Nifong to initiate a sham motion for the same information in order to make it appear as if Duke was actually following the law.

We have similar cases of universities more concerned with their image and bilking millions from their alumni through their sports programs. The most recent are; The University of Southern California where the coach and athletic director knew they were breaking the rules in the Reggie Bush case. The athletic director was fired and the coach, Pete Carroll, took a multi-million dollar head coach with the Seattle Sea Hawks after the NCAA sanctions destroyed USC’s football program. Ohio State and the University of Washington have recently suffered similar sanctions. A case at Auburn is still pending.

As I have written colleges and Universities are big business. They bilk their alumni for millions and covet the rich TV contracts they can get for having high profile winning football and basketball teams. They constantly increase tuitions due to the availability of money from federal backed student loans and have lobbyists on “K” Street to obtain federal grant money. They hire and retain professors they don’t need to teach courses that will not allow those graduating from those courses to pay back the thousands of dollars in student loans because there are no jobs in that field except becoming a professor who will teach the same useless course at another college.

Perhaps it’s time for a revamping and scaling down of our higher education system. Not everyone needs to go to college to get a job and those going to college should be more concerned with supporting themselves in the future than protesting and social activism.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to spend a few hours with theJohnwooden legendary basketball coach John Wooten. Wooten was not only a great coach, he was a great man. During our conversation one of my colleagues, who was with me, asked Wooten what he thought of college basketball today. Mr. Wooten thought for a few moments and then replied that he would not to have anything to do with the game. He felt it had deteriorated to an unpaid minor league for professional basketball that was filled administrators, coaches, and most of all players more concerned with money than scholastics and sportsmanship.

I wonder what John Wooten would have to say about the Penn State scandal today. In some ways I am glad he is no longer with us and does not have to witness the state of college athletics today.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Best Location in The Nation No More

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.” — Winston Churchill

There was a slogan fostered by the power company in Cleveland, Ohio, the city I grew up in, that it was the best location in the nation. There were billboards posted around the city proclaiming this boast and it was proudly proclaimed by newspapers and radio stations.

In many ways, with the exception of the weather, the power company’s boast was true. In 1962, when I left Cleveland for the sunny climate of California, the city was the ninth largest in the nation. Cleveland proper had a population of 700,000 and the greater area a population of over a million. The city had great industrial plants like Republic Steel, The Ford Engine Plant, and the Chevrolet Plant. Because of these giants there were thousands of small and medium-sized businesses supporting these giants with parts and services. Jobs were a plenty and wages were high. The Unions ruled.

The city had parks, great public libraries, one of the finest art museums in the nation and its own world-renown symphony orchestra. Most of the support for the arts and culture came from the east side and suburbs such as Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights where the professional class lived. The western lakeside suburbs of Bay Village and Rocky River were also populated with the upper middle class. These communities had large homes on tree-lined streets and little crime.

To the south of the city were suburbs like Parma, Parma Heights, and Maple Heights. These were the suburbs of the middle class working folks, the people who worked in the steel mills and auto plants. These suburbs grew up2831 Hearthstone Road<br /><br />,-81.70350000&spn=0.001,0.001&t=k&hl=en after the end of WWII when the great housing boom swept the nation. Families, like ours, who had lived in rental houses in the Cleveland proper during the war were taking their savings and buying their own homes in the modest suburbs. My father bought such a home in Parma in 1948 for $10,500. It was a 1,000 square foot home including a partial unfinished room on the second floor. It had two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, and one bathroom. The house had an unfinished yard and sat on a lot measuring 45 feet by 125 feet (5,625 square feet). It was my parents dream home in 1948.

My parents, like thousands of others, left the inner city for similar houses in the suburbs and the western edges of the city. The schools were good and crime was low. People worked at their jobs and in improving their properties. I know because I spent many hours as a 13-year old boy grading the yard, spreading top soil and planting a yard.

At the end of our street was a wood where I used to explore and hike. I would go to these dense woods to shoot my .22 caliber rifle and where I killed my first animal, a gopher.

I went to the Catholic School a few blocks from the house where I could walk or ride my bike to get there. I had a morning paper route covering three streets and over 100 customers. I rooted for the Browns and the Indians. Life was good in the greatest location in the nation.

Something else was happening in the greatest location nation in the nation. This something else was called “white flight”. During the war years Blacks from the south had relocated in northern cities like Cleveland, Detroit, and Gary, Indiana to work in the defense plants. After the war ended and the returning soldiers began taking the jobs they left these Black workers were being dismissed by the thousands. They did not go back to the south, but stayed in Cleveland an looked for jobs. Many did not find jobs, and the jobs they did find paid much less than their previous defense jobs. Many were turning to welfare.

With the flight of the whites to the suburbs the tax base in Cleveland began to decline, so did the property values and the condition of the houses as the once middle-class home owners left or died. These effects were slow to materialize, but they were taking place.

Buy the 1960’s, when I left for California, the effects of the white flight and the declining tax base were becoming very noticeable. Schools and services within the city were declining and the welfare population was growing. The city leaders, the Democrat Party, did not know what to do and kept pandering to the welfare class and unions to retain their power.

When new federal environmental regulations began affecting the industrial manufactures they began to close their doors and move rather than invest the millions in bringing their old facilities up to par. There was also another major factor that was entering the scene — competition from Japan and Europe. This competition mostly affected the steel, auto, and electronics industry. Cheaper, non-union, steel was being produced in Japan. This affected Republic Steel. Cars made in Japan and Germany were binging heated competition to the auto industry causing Ford and Chevrolet to produce less. This meant they would purchase less from the steel mills and their numerous suppliers. Electronics were no longer using tube, made in Cleveland; they were using transistors made in Japan. The whole model of Cleveland’s prosperity was falling apart. Less jobs, no tax base and increasing welfare were killing the best location in the nation.

I could go on and on with the economic, social, and cultural factors that were killing Cleveland and other Rust Belt cites, but I think you get it by now. The one thing that did remain constant in the best location in the nation, however, was the control of the Democrat Party.

Two weeks ago my brother and I spent four days in the Cleveland area to visit the Professional Football Hall of Fame in Canton, some relatives, and to visit the places where we lived and some old haunts. The trip was fun and informative. Places we once thought of as farm land, like Medina, were now the new suburbs. The suburbs where we grew up in looked pretty much the same with the exception of the addition of a few Interstates and the addition of numerous national big box stores. The houses looked the same, especially the 63-year old house in Parma, my parents dream home. There still some of the same stores like the smoke shop where my Dad bought his pipe tobacco. Of course other things had changed. There were new national franchise restaurants and stores. Some streets had been widened and my old first high school, Parma Scahff, had been turned into a charter school. The high school I graduated from, Parma Senior High, was triple the size it was in 1954 and the football stadium was vastly larger and the field covered with artificial turf. All of these things were products of a natural progression of time, as they are all across the nation.

On the other hand Cleveland proper had gone the opposite direction. There were no big box stores or franchise restaurants in the section of the city where I lived during WWII. Streets and other infrastructure had gone to hell. Schools looked like prisons surrounded with concertina wire. Sections that were once considered middle class were now depressed areas of the welfare class. The house where we lived during the war was gone and was marked by a vacant lot.

Abandoned building on Wade Park Ave<br /><br />,-81.63902667&spn=0.001,0.001&t=k&hl=enThis was evident as we drove east along Kinsman Road from East 55th to the once upper class Shaker Heights. On almost every corner there was an abandoned, boarded up business, a business that once served the community and employed someone. There were dilapidated and abandoned houses and public housing projects. It resembled a third world country more that the greatest location in the nation — all of this after billions in federal and state assistance money.

Today Cleveland, a city that once had a good public school system, has a graduation rate of less that 50%. The inner city crime rate, especially drug related, is through the roof. The official unemployment rate is around 16%, but most experts believe it is closer to 26% and the rate among Black youth is close to 50%. All of this while the Democrat Party and the unions still control the city.

Another thing we noticed were the numerous professionally made lawn signs urging people to vote no on Issue 2, a proposition that would repeal the law passed by the Ohio Legislature requiring unionized civil service workers to make contributions to their pensions and health care programs. The proposition passed with 63% of the vote. This is not surprising as there are 350,000 state government workers in Ohio. If use a factor of 4 for family members you come up with 1.4 million NO votes. The deck was stacked from the get go. No Ohio will join California in a state spiraling into bankruptcy due to government workers and teacher’s union pension and health care liabilities.

On the same day Issue 2 went down, Ohio voters resoundingly voted for Issue 3, which was the latest strike by a state against the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, and its requirement that everyone carry health insurance or pay a penalty for not doing so. The measure, which won by a margin of 2-to-1 statewide, is an amendment to the state constitution that will “preserve the freedom of Ohioans to choose their health care and health care coverage. You might call this a dichotomy, or even voter schizophrenia.

Our four days in the Cleveland area were fun and informative. Things we remembered as large were now small. Things we remembered as rural were now suburbs. And things were remembered as declining were now disaster zones. Cleveland, the city that was once considered the best location in the nation, is no longer so. It is an example of what can happen to a once thriving city when one party rule, The Democrat Party, retains power for over 60 years.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The End of an Era at Penn State

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Yesterday an era came to an end at Happy Valley when the Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was summarily fired by the universities board of trustees. Paterno, the most successful coach in the history of college football was fired after serving the Penn State athletic program for 46 years as the head coach on the Nittany Lions due to his inactions in the sexual molestation scandal now plaguing the university. In addition to the dismissal of Paterno the university’s president Graham Spanier was given the boot.

The Penn State University's Board of Trustees announced late Wednesday10paterno-5-articleLarge night that it had ousted school president Graham Spanier and legendary head football coach Joe Paterno, amid a child sex abuse scandal under their watch involving a former assistant coach reports Fox News:

“These decisions were made after careful deliberations and best interests of the university as a whole," said John Surma, vice chairman of the university board, during a news conference held following the board's meeting.

"The past several days have been absolutely terrible to the Penn State community," Surma said. "But the outrage is nothing compared to the psychological suffering that took place."

"The past several days have been absolutely terrible to the Penn State community," Surma said. "But the outrage is nothing compared to the psychological suffering that took place."

"I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees' decision, but I have to accept it. A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value," Paterno said in a statement after the announcement.

"I have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career working with people I love. I am grateful beyond words to all of the coaches, players and staff who have been a part of this program. And to all of our fans and supporters, my family and I will be forever in your debt," he continued.

Tom Bradley, an assistant coach and defensive and cornerbacks coach, has been announced as the interim head coach ahead of Penn State's Saturday game against Nebraska.

Paterno's former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, is accused of molesting at least eight boys between 1994 and 2009.

The status of a witness to one of the alleged acts, Mike McQueary, remains unchanged. At the time McQueary was a graduate assistant, and currently is a receivers coach for the team.

"I am heartbroken to think that any child may have been hurt and have deep convictions about the need to protect children and youth," Spanier said in a statement after his firing. "My heartfelt sympathies go out to all those who may have been victimized. I would never hesitate to report a crime if I had any suspicion that one had been committed."

"Penn State and its Board of Trustees are in the throes of dealing with and recovering from this crisis, and there is wisdom in a transition in leadership so that there are no distractions in allowing the University to move forward," he continued. "The acts of no one person should define this university."

Before the announcement, Paterno announced Wednesday he will retire at the end of the season, saying, "I wish I had done more" to help the victims of alleged sex abuse by his former assistant.

"I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case," Paterno said in a statement obtained by Fox News. "I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief."

"It is one of the great sorrows of my life," Paterno said. "With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."

In a related column in the New York Times Maureen Dowd, a person I rarely read and for the most part never agree with, wrote:

So I’ve got to wonder how the 84-year-old coach feels when he thinks about all the children who look up to him; innocent, football-crazy boys like the one he was told about in March 2002, a child then Anthony’s age who was sexually assaulted in a shower in the football building by Jerry Sandusky, Paterno’s former defensive guru, according to charges leveled by the Pennsylvania attorney general.

Paterno was told about it the day after it happened by Mike McQueary, a graduate assistant coach who testified that he went into the locker room one Friday night and heard rhythmic slapping noises. He looked into the showers and saw a naked boy about 10 years old “with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky,” according to the grand jury report.

It would appear to be the rare case of a pedophile caught in the act, and you’d think a graduate student would know enough to stop the rape and call the police. But McQueary, who was 28 years old at the time, was a serf in the powerfully paternal Paternoland. According to the report, he called his dad, went home and then the next day went to the coach’s house to tell him.

“I don’t even have words to talk about the betrayal that I feel,” the mother of one of Sandusky’s alleged victims told The Harrisburg Patriot-News, adding about McQueary: “He ran and called his daddy?”

Paterno, who has cast himself for 46 years as a moral compass teaching his “kids” values, testified that he did not call the police at the time either. The family man who had faced difficult moments at Brown University as a poor Italian with a Brooklyn accent must have decided that his reputation was more important than justice.

The iconic coach waited another day, according to the report, and summoned Tim Curley, the Penn State athletic director who had been a quarterback for Paterno in the ’70s.

Curley did not call the university police, who had investigated an episode in 1998 in which Sandusky admitted he was wrong to shower with an 11-year-old boy and promised not to do it again. (Two years later, according to the grand jury report, a janitor saw Sandusky performing oral sex on a boy in the showers and told his supervisor, who did not report it.)

Curley waited another week and a half to see McQueary, who told the grand jury that he repeated his sodomy story for Curley and Gary Schultz, a university vice president who oversaw campus police.

Two more weeks passed before Curley contacted McQueary to let him know that Sandusky’s keys to the locker room had been taken away and the incident had been reported to The Second Mile, the charity Sandusky started in 1977.

Prosecutors suggest that the former coach, whose memoir is ironically titled “Touched,” founded the charity as a way to ensnare boys. They have charged Sandusky, now 67, with sexually assaulting eight boys he met there.”

Jack Cashill writes in American Thinker:

“Legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and Kansas City bishop Robert Finn share a fate they would not wish on their worst enemies: both stand accused of not reporting the sexual exploitation of children in their respective bailiwicks.

Paterno lost a job he has held for 46 years. For Bishop Finn, the stakes are even higher. He could lose his freedom. A headline last month from U.K.'s Daily Mail says it all, or seems to: "Catholic Bishop becomes most senior U.S. clergyman to be arrested after being charged in child porn cover up."

In both cases, the outraged callers and bloggers wonder how authorities like these could have turned a blind eye to such horrors. They assure themselves that they would have done the right thing, even the heroic thing, and done it pronto. This same impulse has convinced many of us that we would have been the one German to resist Hitler or the one Virginian to challenge slavery.

Bull. Having investigated any number of controversial cases, and gotten to know personally several high-level whistle-blowers, I can assure the Monday morning quarterbacks that at least 95 percent of them are wrong. When faced with an unanticipated quandary, the average citizen will revert to what is culturally comfortable and institutionally appropriate. It is only the heroic few who will make the right call.

Of the two cases, the Penn State case is easily the more egregious. In 1998, a concerned mother called the local police to report that veteran Penn State linebacker coach Jerry Sandusky was showering naked with her son. The authorities met with Sandusky. He promised not to do it again. Case closed.

In 1999, Sandusky retired from Penn State after 32 years with full honors and continued access to the sports facilities. These he would use for himself and for the troubled kids in a nonprofit he founded called "The Second Mile." In 2000, a janitor saw him commit a sex act on a boy at Penn State, told his supervisor, and there the case apparently died.

In 2002, 28-year-old graduate assistant Mike McQueary saw Sandusky having sex with a boy in the shower. Let us call this the "McQueary moment." Talk show callers are sure that they would have directly intervened or at least called the police. McQueary did neither. He called his father, who told him to leave the building.

The senior McQueary informed Paterno the next day in person. Paterno promptly told his athletic director and a senior vice president. They would tell the grand jury that they were under the impression that Sandusky and the boy were merely "horsing around." They have been indicted for perjury. In its collective wisdom, the university banned Sandusky from using the facilities. That was it.

In the secular world of Penn State, where celibacy is obsolete and sin a cultural memory, there had to have been a good deal of confusion as to whether Sandusky's behavior was as evil as it seems from a distance. A week before Finn's indictment and a month before Sandusky's arrest, for instance, director Roman Polanski received a lifetime achievement award and a "10-minute standing ovation" at the Zurich film festival. As the audience knew, Polanski had fled the United States in 1978 after having pled guilty to drugging and anally raping a 7th-grader.

American audiences have proved no more enlightened. The same year that McQueary spotted Sandusky in the shower, Polanksi released The Pianist, for which he received an Oscar in absentia and a standing ovation from the Hollywood worthies.”

Mr. Paterno has stated that he is devastated by these events and wishes he had done more to prevent them. I wonder, however, whether he has a real understanding of exactly what injuries—from a psychological standpoint—he could have prevented.

I am not defending Joe Paterno. When a child is made to participate in a sex act with an adult, it leads to intense feelings of fear and guilt and betrayal, which can easily color his or her entire existence.

These feelings are often suppressed. Hence, they can crop up in devastating ways later on: in the inability to trust any authority figure, in a tendency to avoid feelings at all, in literally slipping away from reality (dissociating), in attempts to suppress memories and feelings using alcohol and illicit drugs, in attention deficit disorder, in major depression, in sexual disorders and in suicide.

But, the hypocrisy in the media is evident. Like what is happening to Herman Cain the media and so called pundits are jumping on a man who has served his University with honor and dignity for 46 years. Paterno did tell his superiors of the case that was reported to him and they basically ignored him. What did they expect him to do, go to the press or the police. What evidence did he have? He had the report of one person. What would he have told the police? Would he have told them that another person told him he saw a man sexually abusing a child? What police would he have told? The Campus police, the State police?

I have no truck with Joe Paterno, but I do believe it is shameful for a man who committed no crime, nor is being charged with any crime to be treated by the media and his university in such hypocritical manner. We have a pension to demand more from others than we would give ourselves.

Suppose someone came to you and reported he saw someone sexually abusing or harassing someone. What would you do? Would you go to your boss or the police? You have no evidence. You are making a hearsay report. Paterno did go to his superiors and report what was told him by a person who was told by someone else what he saw. This is not only hearsay, it’s a double dose of hearsay.

Joe Paterno holds more bowl victories (24) than any coach in history. He alsopaterno640 tops the list of bowl appearances with 37. He has a bowl record of 24 wins, 12 losses, and 1 tie following a defeat in the 2011 Outback Bowl. Paterno is the only coach with the distinction of having won each of the current four major bowls—Rose, Orange, Fiesta, and Sugar—as well as the Cotton Bowl Classic, at least once. Under Paterno, Penn State has won at least three bowl games each decade since 1970.

Paterno has led Penn State to two national championships (1982 and 1986) and five undefeated, untied seasons (1968, 1969, 1973, 1986, and 1994). Four of his unbeaten teams (1968, 1969, 1973, and 1994) won major bowl games and were not awarded a national championship.

Now a man who is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and 409 career victories will be remembered in the same category as O.J. Simpson. The cowardice and hypocrisy of the Penn State Board of Trustees and the media is appalling.