How could American culture grow so corrupt as to value a game over protecting children?

jdzappa wrote:
So I want to say I was really touched by the prayer ceremony before the Penn State-Iowa game, and that for a brief shining moment my faith in humanity was slowly being restored.

Then this morning I saw that Sandusky is walking free after posting bail. And better yet, the judge who hooked him up is a big supporter of his rape victim grooming - er volunteer - program Second Mile.

http://nation.foxnews.com/penn-state...

I heard on NPR this morning going to work that Sandusky's house is across the street from a children's playground and that he has full view of it from the back of his house.

Jolly Bill wrote:
I agree completely with every word. It's frustrating when the amount of negligence you're describing is the conservative position you are arguing people back towards.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean here, because I'm with Bear--Paterno turning a blind eye is beyond reprehensible, he richly deserved to be fired, and in a just, perfect world he'd be rotting in prison for his crime of omission. Instead, we live in this one, and legally, firing him is the best that can be done, which is the kind of thing that makes a belief in Hell so appealing. He was a figure of authority and power, and somehow found an even barer minimum than what I'd consider the bare minimum, and that fact alone justifies any rage or insult that goes his way--when the asteroid hits Metropolis, you don't let Superman off the hook because Beast Boy also failed to stop it. Paterno's status makes his crime worse. I only haven't said the Penn program should be shuttered because I don't much care about football. I don't have much respect for the rioters, because they rioted in support of child rape. So...I'm tough on this crime, which is a sort of conservatism, I guess.

Sorry, but if I have a third rail, it's this sort of thing.

I have to say, I don't condone what's been done by all the accused parties in this incident, but I'm also not for any of the parties to "rot in hell." This is primarily because making them rot in hell in the living world is going to cost a lot of money, so I would rather that money be spent on more worthwhile things like giving people jobs and education.

Reformation and rehabilitation is the best solution; but barring that, there needs to be some kind of program where they can contribute to society without being a danger to prospective victims.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
The claim continues to be made that due diligence was done by Paterno and the other guy when this got reported to...well, not any sort of police, but that's a different matter. But they continued to work with him, infrequently or not, and it seems they never went back to any authority and said "Hey, remember when we saw that guy raping a child in our locker room? Whatever happened with that?" I'm not going to be able to contain my sarcasm--this was not seeing him drunk and making out with not-his-wife at a bar, and it was not due diligence that renders them blameless scapegoats. Personally, and my perspective is one stemming from having worked with abuse victims and abusers, raping a child is not the sort of crime you wash your hands of once you've made a report--at the very least, they should have persisted in the hopes of getting the victim the help he pretty desperately needed, because given time the abused tend to become abusers. They should have asked about Sandusky's status and demanded an answer, because as we can see now, clearly the answer was not "Oh, no, big misunderstanding. See? Here's how we know."

I maintain that there is a perfectly valid scenario that makes Joe Paterno fairly clear in all of this.

1. Distraught student comes to you with claims of seeing child abuse. Several places I've read state that those claims were "vague" whatever that means, I'm guessing it has something to do with Paterno asking McQuery why he didn't stop it and him saying "um, well, I wasn't sure".
2. You report this to the supervisor of the University Police Department. While this guy doesn't have a badge he is still, you know, in charge of the whole damn police department. He promises to launch an investigation.
3. Checking in with the supervisor later he says that yes, indeed, the investigation is underway.
4a. When nothing comes of this you start to decide that the student with his vague recollections of the event was mistaken, you feel really bad for falsely accusing someone of child abuse, a scenario that you are afraid of having happen to you as a male working with children and young adults in America.
Or...
4b. When nothing comes of this you decide that there wasn't enough evidence of what was going on to convict him, but you believe what your student said about him. This not being a comic book you don't decide to murder him yourself, and you are sort of unsure what else you could do since he isn't an employee of yours and you don't have the power to exile him from the campus.

Now I've heard several versions of the details, some of which contradict that scenario, and others which corroborate it, but there are so many crazy rumors flying around that I have been ignoring the smaller details until the dust settles. The above scenario however matches with the big picture, including--probably most importantly--the fact that the supervisor was convicted of perjury for lying about whether an investigation was underway.

99% of those students out there protesting Joe Paterno's treatment weren't arguing that football was more important than child molestation, they were protesting that they felt Joe Paterno was being used as a sacrificial lamb when his guilt hadn't been sufficiently established and was just being attacked by a horde of people falling over themselves to prove that they hate child molestation more than anyone else does.

Yonder wrote:
I maintain that there is a perfectly valid scenario that makes Joe Paterno fairly clear in all of this.

1. Distraught student comes to you with claims of seeing child abuse. Several places I've read state that those claims were "vague" whatever that means, I'm guessing it has something to do with Paterno asking McQuery why he didn't stop it and him saying "um, well, I wasn't sure".
2. You report this to the supervisor of the University Police Department. While this guy doesn't have a badge he is still, you know, in charge of the whole damn police department. He promises to launch an investigation.
3. Checking in with the supervisor later he says that yes, indeed, the investigation is underway.
4a. When nothing comes of this you start to decide that the student with his vague recollections of the event was mistaken, you feel really bad for falsely accusing someone of child abuse, a scenario that you are afraid of having happen to you as a male working with children and young adults in America.
Or...
4b. When nothing comes of this you decide that there wasn't enough evidence of what was going on to convict him, but you believe what your student said about him. This not being a comic book you don't decide to murder him yourself, and you are sort of unsure what else you could do since he isn't an employee of yours and you don't have the power to exile him from the campus.

Now I've heard several versions of the details, some of which contradict that scenario, and others which corroborate it, but there are so many crazy rumors flying around that I have been ignoring the smaller details until the dust settles. The above scenario however matches with the big picture, including--probably most importantly--the fact that the supervisor was convicted of perjury for lying about whether an investigation was underway.

99% of those students out there protesting Joe Paterno's treatment weren't arguing that football was more important than child molestation, they were protesting that they felt Joe Paterno was being used as a sacrificial lamb when his guilt hadn't been sufficiently established and was just being attacked by a horde of people falling over themselves to prove that they hate child molestation more than anyone else does.

Except that McGreary testified in front of a grand jury as to what he saw. That would seem to indicate that there was a witness to a criminal act and not something he wasn't sure of.

We won't know the full story for weeks or months. There are a lot of conflicting reports but the more clouded it gets the worse it looks for PSU.

When I heard Sandusky say "I shouldn't have showered with those boys" and "I touched their leg" that was all I needed to hear to convince me that he did what he's accused of. A grown man does not shower with 10 year old boys....ever.

I find the argument that Sandusky didn't work for Penn State a bit hard to bear. If he was recruiting and involved with the football program - for whom did he work?

Bear wrote:
Except that McGreary testified in front of a grand jury as to what he saw. That would seem to indicate that there was a witness to a criminal act and not something he wasn't sure of.
Unless you are alleging that Paterno has a time machine and saw the 2010 Grand Jury testimony in 2002 that doesn't really mean much.

We won't know the full story for weeks or months. There are a lot of conflicting reports but the more clouded it gets the worse it looks for PSU.
And that's exactly the problem. People don't know the full story but have still convicted all sorts of people in their minds--including for some here the entire academic institution! Also that last part of your sentence is telling, the more clouded it gets the less sure you should be about everything, you shouldn't look at this clouded story made by 30 different media outlets all fighting for attention and looking for "new facets" of the story without properly vetting them and say "Wow, all this confusion obviously means that the entire University is implicated!"

No. All of this confusion means "Oh Hai! I'm the 24 hour news system! Remember me?!"

Phoenix Rev wrote:

I heard on NPR this morning going to work that Sandusky's house is across the street from a children's playground and that he has full view of it from the back of his house.

Yep, and I doubt that was by accident. It's pretty common for pedophiles to move near grade-schools, and to put themselves within close range to children. Sandusky even took the step of starting a children's charity to have primo access to kids.

Going back to the Bob Costas phone interview, I wasn't the only one shocked by Sandusky a) talking to anyone at all, and b) saying the things he said. This from a CNN article this morning:

First, Sandusky's reply to Costas:

Costas asks if he is 100% innocent of all charges:

Sandusky wrote:
"I could say I have done some of those things," he said. "I have horsed around with kids I have showered (with) after workouts. I have hugged them, and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact."

But CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin said she thinks a crime has already been committed, based on Sandusky's own admissions.

"It's such a classic fact pattern for him to admit that he showered with these children and horsed around and confessed to touching them," she said on CNN's "AC360." "In my mind, that's already misdemeanor child sex abuse. So I disagree when the attorney says nothing criminal happened here. That, in and of itself, is criminal ... I'm flabbergasted."

CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said Amendola finds himself in a difficult position in trying to explain his client's actions.

"It is better to say they took a shower together than to say that sex took place in the shower. But when you are admitting to showering with a 10 year old, you got a big problem already."

Er, what's wrong with showering with a 10 year old? If I shower with a woman, is that going to be interpreted as some kind of sex thing?

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
Jolly Bill wrote:
I agree completely with every word. It's frustrating when the amount of negligence you're describing is the conservative position you are arguing people back towards.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean here, because I'm with Bear--Paterno turning a blind eye is beyond reprehensible, he richly deserved to be fired, and in a just, perfect world he'd be rotting in prison for his crime of omission. Instead, we live in this one, and legally, firing him is the best that can be done, which is the kind of thing that makes a belief in Hell so appealing. He was a figure of authority and power, and somehow found an even barer minimum than what I'd consider the bare minimum, and that fact alone justifies any rage or insult that goes his way--when the asteroid hits Metropolis, you don't let Superman off the hook because Beast Boy also failed to stop it. Paterno's status makes his crime worse. I only haven't said the Penn program should be shuttered because I don't much care about football. I don't have much respect for the rioters, because they rioted in support of child rape. So...I'm tough on this crime, which is a sort of conservatism, I guess.

Sorry, but if I have a third rail, it's this sort of thing.

We agree on the facts which are that Paterno heard about an incident and reported it immediately, as he should have, and then afterwards did not follow up. If we differ about his intent on not following up (which is unknown at this point, although if you claim personal outrage on how you would never allow it I point you to the Bystander Effect) and about the punishment he should receive regardless of intent. That last part is a difference of opinion, but we agree on what he didn't do and that it was wrong. I only disagree with Bear's posts because there were factual errors that supported further outrage.

LarryC wrote:
Er, what's wrong with showering with a 10 year old? If I shower with a woman, is that going to be interpreted as some kind of sex thing?

If your a 50+ year old man you have ZERO business showering with a 10 year old. There's just no rationale reason or excuse for you do do that. EVER

If you're a fully consenting adult you can shower with all the adult women you want. Try showering with a 10 year old girl and you're going to prison.

It may not be sexual assault but it certainly endangerment. A guy in upstate NY just got 15 years in pricing for trying to entice a 15 year old into sex. He never touched her, he just tried!

Yonder wrote:
Bear wrote:
Except that McGreary testified in front of a grand jury as to what he saw. That would seem to indicate that there was a witness to a criminal act and not something he wasn't sure of.
Unless you are alleging that Paterno has a time machine and saw the 2010 Grand Jury testimony in 2002 that doesn't really mean much.

I didn't realize that the grand jury testimony was a full eight years after the alleged incident.

Bear:

Fully consenting?!? Adult women? It seems to me that Jolly Bill got the answer more correctly. I don't particularly consider showering or being nude sexual things. Of course, that's just me. That said, in my culture, it's not altogether unseemly for an adult to bathe with children. In fact, children bathing pretty much always requires adult supervision. It'd be considered kind of irresponsible not to provide oversight, and it's cheaper if you do it together.

It's a cultural thing, I perceive. Past the age of competence and puberty it is considered unseemly for a father or a guardian to bathe with their charges, locally.

Larry, really do you have to pipe in every thread to tell us how odd Americans are and point out how in your culture things are so different? We get it.

SallyNasty wrote:
Larry, really do you have to pipe in every thread to tell us how odd Americans are and point out how in your culture things are so different? We get it.

I was about to say. Here we go with this again.

LarryC wrote:
Er, what's wrong with showering with a 10 year old? If I shower with a woman, is that going to be interpreted as some kind of sex thing?

That's part of the cultural shift at place here, LarryC. Today in America, showering with a 10 yr old at all is extremely unusual/weird and doing so with one that is not your own child is pretty clearly out of bounds. "Horsing around" with one in the shower is considered extremely disturbing. 40-60 years ago this was not the case and some wonder whether that was a factor in the older men not taking allegations as seriously as today's youth does.

SallyNasty wrote:
I find the argument that Sandusky didn't work for Penn State a bit hard to bear. If he was recruiting and involved with the football program - for whom did he work?

Sandusky did work for Penn State in up until 1999. He was cleared in the first investigation. In 1999, he retired from the University. Everything that happened there after was not as an employee of Penn State.

Sandusky like Paterno had an academic appointment which means he was a member of the faculty. Sandusky was granted emeritus status which gives him an office and other access privileges to the campus.

Emeritus status is conferred upon retired faculty by the President and Board of Trustees, not Joe Paterno or department chairs.

The allegation that Sandusky recruited players would be major NCAA infraction. I suspect that the NCAA will investigate the allegation, but Sandusky was not on the organizational chart of Penn State since his retirement.

Greg wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:
I find the argument that Sandusky didn't work for Penn State a bit hard to bear. If he was recruiting and involved with the football program - for whom did he work?

Sandusky did work for Penn State in up until 1999. He was cleared in the first investigation. In 1999, he retired from the University. Everything that happened there after was not as an employee of Penn State.

Sandusky like Paterno had an academic appointment which means he was a member of the faculty. Sandusky was granted emeritus status which gives him an office and other access privileges to the campus.

Emeritus status is conferred upon retired faculty by the President and Board of Trustees, not Joe Paterno or department chairs.

The allegation that Sandusky recruited players would be major NCAA infraction. I suspect that the NCAA will investigate the allegation, but Sandusky was not on the organizational chart of Penn State since his retirement.

Ok. But was he actively involved in recruitment for and relations regarding the football team? I don't care if he was drawing a pay-check, but if he was associated with the football team and active on their behalf it is just semantics.

SallyNasty wrote:

Ok. But was he actively involved in recruitment for and relations regarding the football team? I don't care if he was drawing a pay-check, but if he was associated with the football team and active on their behalf it is just semantics.

The official stance seems to be no, but there were allegations to the contrary. We may need to wait for evidence of that, and I certainly hope the NCAA does an investigation. That will all take time, though.

Sandusky has been an active High School football coach (assistant coach, I think) since retiring from Penn State so it is possible he observed the student mentioned in that role. I don't know, though.

Bear wrote:
LarryC wrote:
Er, what's wrong with showering with a 10 year old? If I shower with a woman, is that going to be interpreted as some kind of sex thing?

If your an 50+ year old man adult, you have ZERO business showering with a 10 year old. There's just no rationale reason or excuse for you do do that. EVER

FTFY

Bear wrote:
Yonder wrote:
Bear wrote:
Except that McGreary testified in front of a grand jury as to what he saw. That would seem to indicate that there was a witness to a criminal act and not something he wasn't sure of.
Unless you are alleging that Paterno has a time machine and saw the 2010 Grand Jury testimony in 2002 that doesn't really mean much.

I didn't realize that the grand jury testimony was a full eight years after the alleged incident.

I got very confused at first reading the Grand Jury report because the victims are not in chronological order.

Someone asked for this earlier and I hadn't seen a good one at the time. Here is the best timeline of events I've seen so far. Victim 3 is missing though, I'm not sure why. (Edit: It's because there are no dates listed in Victim 3's section of the Grand Jury report.)

Jolly Bill wrote:
LarryC wrote:
Er, what's wrong with showering with a 10 year old? If I shower with a woman, is that going to be interpreted as some kind of sex thing?

That's part of the cultural shift at place here, LarryC. Today in America, showering with a 10 yr old at all is extremely unusual/weird and doing so with one that is not your own child is pretty clearly out of bounds. "Horsing around" with one in the shower is considered extremely disturbing. 40-60 years ago this was not the case and some wonder whether that was a factor in the older men not taking allegations as seriously as today's youth does.

A cultural shift predicated on harsh fact. The fact that child sex abuse is a very real, very prevalent problem. The statistics are staggering, with something like 1 in 4 girls sexually abused by the age of 17, and 1 in 6 boys.

Besides that, it's just f*cking creepy for adults to be showering with kids. Especially when so called "hugging" and "horseplay" are involved.

Larry, I don't want to target you because I appreciate your perspective - but you do, quite often, jump into threads saying "you wacky Americans, I will never get you. Things are SO different over here!"

I think you are an interesting poster, who has a unique perspective - but I think you would be surprised with the frequency with which you make the sorts of comments that I am talking about if you went back and read your posts.

SallyNasty wrote:
Larry, really do you have to pipe in every thread to tell us how odd Americans are and point out how in your culture things are so different? We get it.

I don't, and I don't. I felt it was useful to provide a bit of perspective. It appears that even in your culture, this was not normal 40 to 60 years ago. It's a strictly modern American cultural thing.

It's perfectly on-topic and relevant to provide contrast and information of this sort in a topic that's about the corruption of modern American culture. I don't see why you and DSGamer are taking such an issue with it.

Jeff-66 provides a more thoughtful response. It seems that this modern cultural phenomenon is reactionary to an increase in the reporting of child sex abuse, or, in any case, its larger presence in popular thinking. Is it because of a rise in actual pedophilia or was it simply being under reported before? Maybe Penn State's just old fashioned in a rather horrible way.

Appreciate the qualification, SallyNasty, but perhaps that tangent is better pursued in PM. Don't want to make this the LarryC thread.

SallyNasty wrote:
Ok. But was he actively involved in recruitment for and relations regarding the football team? I don't care if he was drawing a pay-check, but if he was associated with the football team and active on their behalf it is just semantics.

There are reports that he was involved, though somewhat indirectly, with recruiting efforts as late as last year.

At the end of the day though it's hard for Penn State to claim absolute innocence when they provided Sandusky with a office on their campus and open access to their facilities (at least until the allegations progressed). Besides that Sandusky was virtually assured the head coach position when Paterno retired and that means there was plenty of interaction between the college muckity mucks and him.

As others have said, Penn State needs to do what is ethically and morally correct now, not just legally correct, and shut down their football program (at least for a few years). It's simply too tainted. Penn State fans can suck it up and at least show the rest of the world that making sure they aren't supporting child molesters is vastly more important than them getting to go to football games for a season or two.

LarryC wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:
Larry, really do you have to pipe in every thread to tell us how odd Americans are and point out how in your culture things are so different? We get it.

I don't, and I don't. I felt it was useful to provide a bit of perspective. It appears that even in your culture, this was not normal 40 to 60 years ago. It's a strictly modern American cultural thing.

I don't know how normal it was 40-60 years ago in the U.S. but if it wasn't as taboo as it is now, it's not because the same things weren't happening. I'm fairly certain child sexual abuse isn't a new development in the U.S. The difference we have now is that we, as a society, are far more educated, far more aware, and have access to far more information than we did 50 years ago. Also, we have infinitely greater ease of communication.

I also know that child sex abuse runs rampant in Asia as well (many pedos travel to India, Thailand etc, for easy access to child sexual encounters), so I'm not sure that the showering thing shouldn't be taboo there as well.

I'm not saying that every adult that has ever showered with a kid is a pedo, nothing of the sort, but I can say that just about every pedo would likely love to shower with a kid.

LarryC wrote:
Appreciate the qualification, SallyNasty, but perhaps that tangent is better pursued in PM. Don't want to make this the LarryC thread.

Right, but LarryC is the guy that started in about American culture again. I would love the thread to stay railed, but it's fair to point this out.

Jeff-66 wrote:

I'm not saying that every adult that has ever showered with a kid is a pedo, nothing of the sort, but I can say that just about every pedo would likely love to shower with a kid.

Yeah. In my small farm town where I grew up when I went to PE or football or basketball practice I never saw a coach in the showers. Never. In fact, I knew from visiting coaches to talk about stuff that there were hole facilities in their office for this. So in other words a small farm town built a gym in the 1950s and new enough not to put the coach in a situation where he'd even have to shower with children. It was just considered... odd.

When I heard that part of the interview I facepalmed. How is that better than saying nothing? "We horsed around, I touched their legs, we showered together, but it was all above board".

Jeff-66:

As a matter of fact, child prostitution rings, at least in the Philippines, are primarily aimed at Westerners, and are often subsidized, banked, or wholly owned by them. It is not clear why the locals don't patronize those rings as aggressively. Maybe the locals just have more access to free child sex?

OG_slinger wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:
Ok. But was he actively involved in recruitment for and relations regarding the football team? I don't care if he was drawing a pay-check, but if he was associated with the football team and active on their behalf it is just semantics.

There are reports that he was involved, though somewhat indirectly, with recruiting efforts as late as last year.

At the end of the day though it's hard for Penn State to claim absolute innocence when they provided Sandusky with a office on their campus and open access to their facilities (at least until the allegations progressed).

WHY?? Why is it hard to claim? I don't get this. Does PSU have some sort of Pedo-detector I am unaware of? UNTIL allegations progressed there is no reason to ban him, and ONCE allegations progressed he was banned. What sort of psychic ability are you ascribing to those at PSU? Aside from the criminal actions of those who OBSTRUCTED allegations from progressing?

Besides that Sandusky was virtually assured the head coach position when Paterno retired and that means there was plenty of interaction between the college muckity mucks and him.

Sandusky retired in 1999, soon after the 'no charge filed' allegations of 1998. It was extremely clear then that he would not become Coach when Paterno retired. This was BEFORE the 2002 incident and resulting allegations. What interaction do you then speak of?

As others have said, Penn State needs to do what is ethically and morally correct now, not just legally correct, and shut down their football program (at least for a few years). It's simply too tainted. Penn State fans can suck it up and at least show the rest of the world that making sure they aren't supporting child molesters is vastly more important than them getting to go to football games for a season or two.

Again, I have no opinion here. It could be an overreaction, but I can't disagree. I believe the corruption to be of only a handful of individuals, but one of the most culpable individuals was the head of our athletics department. Having ALL PSU athletics take at least a year off from competition to conduct investigations into what else Curley was willing to turn a blind eye to would probably be a good idea.

LarryC wrote:
Jeff-66:

As a matter of fact, child prostitution rings, at least in the Philippines, are primarily aimed at Westerners, and are often subsidized, banked, or wholly owned by them. It is not clear why the locals don't patronize those rings as aggressively. Maybe the locals just have more access to free child sex?

It's very common to blame local problems and ethical failings on foreigners and minorities. Anywhere. Indications are that there has not been an increase in pedophilia, just an increase in reporting of it. It's likely the same where you are.

II don't know how keeping a football program running supports child molesters. I don't care about prayer vigils or collection drives. To me, Penn State isn't the story here beyond cleaning house of the people who allowed this to happen and institutional reform--and by 'reform' I mean 'ass kicking'. The story here is the victims. I don't know how anything Penn State does (besides dumb stuff like rioting to keep the people responsible in power) makes a damn bit of difference to the victims. To all of us out here in comment land, sure it does: there is a taint on Penn State now. I just don't know how making those of us who have nothing to do with this incident more comfortable helps the people who actually got hurt.

I don't blame the students for feeling they had to do something to show support, but to me it felt almost egocentric, like the big story here isn't justice, it's about how the Penn State community handles the situation and rises above it. Again, I can't blame them given the media pressure and the jerkoffs who rioted--they did need to do something to show the world those knuckleheads don't represent them--but no matter how the students of Penn State feel about themselves after all this, I don't know if it makes any difference to the victims.

It seems like in these situations there's a lot of 'feel good' things that can be done, I just wonder at what point it's about the feelings of the victims vs. the feelings of the rest of us. Maybe we'll feel comfortable with Penn State football in two years, but will the victims? If we're going to shut down Penn State football, it's got to be for, say, 75 years until the victims are all either dead or too old to care. Shutting it down for anything less is more about us than it is about the victims to me.

Maybe it should be shut down while the investigation and trial is underway? Maybe that would matter to the victims, that the corrupt institution gets closed until justice is done?

It's something we have to keep in mind in these situations: where's the overlap between our feelings and the interests of the victims. It's pretty big, but it's not a perfect match. Sometimes we can get so caught up in worrying about the feelings of the outsiders who are--rightfully--shocked and disgusted by this that we can confuse our own agendas with that of the victims.