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!
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