Setting the Record Straight

There is no way to even keep track of all the lies and nonsense floating around these days, let alone lay it all to rest. Still, every so often I find I have to make the attempt or I wind up feeling like the worst kind of slacker.

For instance, as a result of the Freeh Report on the horrific events that took place at Penn State, Joe Paterno’s reputation will never recover. That is as it should be. For obvious and sleazy reasons, the late football coach decided to turn a blind eye to Jerry Sandusky’s brutalizing little children. The problem is that college athletic coaches will continue to be referred to as builders of character and lauded as molders of men, at least so long as their teams continue to win championships.

I’m not suggesting there are no decent human beings in their ranks, but the only way that college coaches attain legendary status is by bending and breaking recruitment rules. After all, it’s difficult enough for professional sports teams to create dynasties, and they have tens of millions of dollars to toss around. But when your entire starting five or starting eleven is gone within a few years, as the team members graduate or simply leave to turn professional, how do you think colleges become basketball and football powerhouses?

And of course when the NCAA finally gets around to doling out punishment for recruiting violations, which generally include cash, cars and sex, it’s the colleges that have to endure the punishments. The coaches, with their winning records, simply move on to other schools and for fatter contracts.

But so long as alumni groups filled with perennial juveniles continue to base their financial contributions on the success of college sports teams, nothing will ever change, and folks as sleazy as Joe Paterno will continue to have statues erected in their honor.

On the nonsense front, we have a tree in New Jersey that is attracting thousands of visitors. They’re showing up in order to see the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Roman Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary, in a 6-inch section of the trunk. Nobody is more respectful of other people’s religious beliefs, however far-fetched, than I am, but what are these pinheads thinking?

And when it’s not Mary, you have probably noticed, it’s her son. Hardly a year goes by that you don’t hear about folks seeing what they insist is the face of Jesus in all sorts of inanimate objects. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to understand that they are making a mockery of their religion. I mean, do they really believe that when their savior returns to earth, as they believe he will, it will be in the form of a head of lettuce or a rust stain on the side of a garage?

Not too long ago, a North Carolina assemblywoman named Becky Carney accidentally pulled the wrong lever, and her mistake spelled the difference in an assembly vote that opened the door to oil being extracted through a process known as fracking. Because environmentalists hate fossil fuels with a passion, her vote, as Joe Biden would say, was a big fracking deal. It also served once again to prove that the only time liberals ever vote the right way is by mistake.

By now it’s obvious that Obama realizes the only way he can be re-elected is for people to ignore his record and to focus, instead, on Romney’s negatives. So it is that Obama is constantly reminding voters that Romney is a rich guy. Fortunately, that’s a strategy fraught with problems. For one thing, Obama is a millionaire. So are such left-wing politicians as Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid. And while it’s true that Romney is richer than they are, the Clintons are worth well over a hundred million dollars, while John and Teresa Kerry could buy and sell the Romneys.

In fact, considering how wealth-conscious liberals are, I find it odd that they never held their family fortune against John, Ted or Bobby Kennedy. And that was a fortune built the old-fashioned way, through bootlegging.

When it comes to hypocrisy, probably nothing compares to international groups such as the U.N. and the Global Counterterrorism Forum. The GCF is comprised of 30 nations, co-chaired by the United States and Turkey. Its purpose is to bring together those nations that have suffered terrorist attacks in an attempt to prevent and punish those responsible. The problem is that because Islamic Turkey doesn’t like Israel, Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Clinton have agreed to exclude the Jewish state, in spite of the fact that it has suffered more terrorist attacks and, aside from the U.S., done more to combat terrorism than the other 29 nations combined.

This is the same Turkey, by the way, that was behind the so-called “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” that set out to provoke an armed response by attempting to run the Israeli blockade and provide Hamas with weaponry.

This is also the same American president and secretary of state, let us not forget, who are always claiming to be Israel’s friend and ally, at least when election times roll around. In the meantime, however, these are the same two people who condemn the Israelis for building apartment houses in Jerusalem and for defending themselves against relentless missile attacks.

With friends like these, Israel, as the old saying goes, doesn’t have to go looking for enemies.

Finally, for those of us who regard Obama’s voice as the biggest drone in America’s arsenal, one of the great things about a Romney victory is that it will totally shock the egomaniacal Obama and render him speechless.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Write to BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.



Corruption in America

[Burt has been unusually prolific of late. Please enjoy this extra bonus article also published today!]
By now I’m sure that even people who have less interest in college football than I, if such a thing is possible, are aware of the sex scandal that tore Penn State apart.  It does not surprise me that Jerry Sandusky got away with his vile activity for so many years or that Joe Paterno and the college administrators basically turned a blind eye to it.  College football, after all, is a cash cow that is far more sacred in America than the cattle that wander blithely through India’s countryside.  Even when I was just a kid, a popular joke was that such college super stars as Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice, Doak Walker and Hugh McElhenny, would all have to take pay cuts when they turned pro.

Joe Paterno Statue

Joe Paterno Statue outside Beaver Stadium on the PSU campus

In all the years since, I have yawned whenever the NCAA would suspend various programs for infractions which generally consisted of bribing their top athletes.  It always seemed to me that the folks at the NCAA would periodically flip a coin to determine which college would next be targeted for their wrath.  I mean, really, do you actually believe that any college can play by the rules and field a top-20 team year after year after year?  It’s one thing for the NY Yankees or the Boston Red Sox to be competitive decade after decade when they pay their players more than everyone else.  But how would a college manage to rule the roost when their best players have to move on after three or four years?  Quite simply, by emulating New York and Boston and spending more money than the competition!

That being said, what I found most disgusting in the aftermath of the Penn State scandal was the fact that hundreds of students rioted on behalf of Mr. Paterno.  Just because he kept turning out winning teams year after year, decade after decade, these young pinheads felt compelled to rally on his behalf, looking and acting exactly like the scumbags who comprise the Occupy Wall Street mob.  But, unlike those unwashed morons, the students actually knew why they were out there creating mayhem in the streets.  They were, by god,  showing their unflagging support for a man who had kept a child rapist on his coaching staff!

I’m sure that in their defense, the young louts would say that Paterno wasn’t the pervert.  But would they say the same if the coach had been employed not at Penn State, but at LSU or Alabama, Oregon or UCLA?  Would they say the same about the many priests and cardinals who had never engaged in pedophilia, but who maintained their silence about the small number who did?

Elbert Hubbard once observed, “Every man is a damned fool for at least five minutes every day.  Wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit.”  I’m afraid that the students at Penn State have already exceeded their limit for at least the next 50 years.

But it’s not just at Penn State that corruption runs rampant.  Take a look at Washington, D.C., where any number of politicians who opposed ObamaCare nevertheless voted for it because they were bribed or intimidated by the likes of Harry (“It’s just business as usual”) Reid and Nancy (“You’ll find out what’s in the bill after it’s passed”) Pelosi.

Or consider Barack Obama who comes out four-square against what they call swag, which consists of souvenir pens, pins and cufflinks, handed out by politicians.  But he sends his family off to Africa at a cost to tax payers of $800,000.  He then uses tax dollars to buy two buses so that he can conduct presidential business — business that apparently can only be conducted in what figure to be swing states in the 2012 election — thus saving the DNC’s war chest hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Or, for that matter, consider Solyndra, a beneficiary of 500 million tax dollars and personal visits by Obama and Biden, but which we’re told had nothing to do with the company being owned by a major Obama contributor.

But when it comes to corruption, unfortunately it’s not limited to Penn State and our nation’s capital.  It seems that in New York, by the time they retire, 90% of railroad workers — including those who only held desk jobs — have applied for disability, which just happens to add $36,000 a year to their pension payments.  In California, 82% of state troopers retire with some sort of disability.  It almost makes you wonder why anyone would even dare consider taking such jobs.  Am I the only person who worries about his health?

Finally, you have all these various women accusing Herman Cain of acting inappropriately.  Not having been there at the time, I don’t know what he did or didn’t do.  What I do know is that whenever a woman shows up in public joined at the hip with Gloria Allred, it is safe to assume that she either belongs in jail, a brothel or a psycho ward.

At this point, I suppose we should all be grateful that Anita Hill hasn’t yet come forward to claim that Mr. Cain once gave her a funny look.

©2011 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com!
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Give Sandusky a Millstone

I can honestly say, unashamedly, that before this week, I was probably the only person in Americawho didn’t know who Joe Paterno was.  The only professional football coach I could name is Tom Landry, and I only knew about him because he was so well dressed.  I know absolutely nothing about college football.  Neither my high school nor college had any sports teams so I never developed a sense of “school spirit” so I truly don’t understand how a sport becomes more important than innocent lives.

When I first heard about the sexual abuse scandal at Penn State, I said to my husband, “Where did the “boys” come from?  Why were young kids in a college locker room?”  Well, I’ve since learned that Jerry Sandusky started a charity called “The Second Mile” where he had access to any number of vulnerable victims.  Then it all made sense.

And before anyone starts writing that this scumbag is innocent until proven guilty, I say, “I’m not on his jury.”  I don’t have to presume anything.  There’s far too much smoke surrounding this Sanduskyguy to assume there’s no fire.  If I’m wrong, I’ll apologize.

There’s always going to be predators.  I’ve worked in the field of child abuse and neglect for over twenty years and they come in all shapes and sizes, all colors, all religions, all economic backgrounds.  Sandusky just happens to be a rich white guy and, apparently, no one wanted to rock the Penn State boat.

This is what I don’t get.  All states have mandatory reporting statutes which require persons in certain positions, teachers, medical personnel, caregivers, etc. to report suspicions of child abuse.  How is a coach, like Joe Paterno, a mentor who was entrusted with the lives of young people, not a mandatory reporter required to report to Child Protective Services instead of to some higher up in the chain of command at the school whose interest was clearly to hush things up and look the other way?

It didn’t surprise me to learn, after reading about the so-called “charity” work Sandusky involved himself with that so many turned a blind eye to his predatory behavior.  Sandusky was so good at what he was doing, as are many pedophiles, that when some children questioned his behavior, no one took the complaints seriously.  His “charitable” works provided the perfect cover and all those politicians, sports stars and community leaders who praised him for his work with these children were his patsies.

There was plenty of money flowing into The Second Mile to spend on these children, grooming them, breaking down their inhibitions and establishing trust, for Sandusky’s own deviant sexual needs.  He held overnight sleepovers at his home, took the children to restaurants and bowl games.  He wrestled in the swimming pool with kids who craved attention.  He bought them golf clubs, sneakers, dress clothes, computers and gave them money according to the Pennsylvania attorney general’s indictment.

But as far as I’m concerned, people like Joe Paterno, who were on notice when given direct information which should have amounted to what statutes refer to as “concerns of child abuse and neglect,” failed miserably in their duty as mandatory reporters.

But what I truly don’t get is the student body which protested after Paterno was discharged earlier this week and caused so much damage, as seen in the photos.  Were they so blinded by their own self-interests and more concerned about a football game than for the broken souls of the innocent children destroyed by Sandusky?  This reminds me of the moronic behavior of fans after their NBA team wins a championship.

I’ve written about the indifference of passers-bys when two toddlers were run over in China.  I’ve also written about whether we’ve lost our moral compass in this country.

Reading about the behavior of those in power at Penn State, those who had to have known that something was going on, those who actually saw a sexual assault of a child, and those who care more about a sports event than the abuse of children, gives me pause and concern that we’re no better than those people who walked by as a two-year old who lay dying in the streets of China.  In this case, I’m guessing, and this is purely a guess, there must be lots of money involved in college football.

When I read stories like Sandusky’s, I always remember the words of Jesus who said, “And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.”  At the same time, I always remember the words of my husband who says, “There’s a special place in Hell for people like him.”

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.