I didn't really want to write about this, because it seems like half the free world is blogging about Paterno today. The other problem, like the late George Carlin would have noted, I'm the kind of guy who sees the glass neither as half empty nor as half full, but rather as one twice as big as it needs to be.
Below the jump, I'm going to discuss Paterno briefly, and move on to what I really want to talk about. It's something that transcends Paterno, and more succinctly the Penn State scandal itself.
Regarding Paterno, I have to judge him by his entire body of work. He was a good football coach, a decent human being, who played more or less by the rules, which is a rarity these days in college athletics. I have a lot of respect for that. But, it's not popular to discuss something like Paterno in balance. We live in a society where the media trains us to play gotcha, where people should be smarter than this.
It's going to take a while for the scandal to play out, but while Paterno could and should have done more, there are some mitigating factors. Two PSU administrators have been indicted for their attempts to whitewash the scandal. I would save your anger for them, as well as the alleged perpetrator, Jerry Sandusky. Paterno did report what happened to his higher-ups, effectively going up the chain of command, at least in his role as head football coach. But in a more practical sense, he was either the most powerful or second most powerful man at PSU, and should have done more.
It will take a while before this all gets sorted out, but I believe justice will be done in the end. Paterno was rightly fired for his refusal to act more assertively (he did go by the book, but again, that's not all the inquiry), but to hang more on him for this, it's a little problematical, at least until all the facts come in. It took a systemic failure of the bureaucracy for the scandal to occur.
What surprises me is that the NCAA, which has no problem sanctioning universities over buying so-called student-athletes a cup of coffee, has remained more or less silent over this. How they can even let PSU even have a football program after all is said and done is a mystery to me. This brief little snippet is simply amazing to me. I mean, the solution originally with Sandusky, IIRC, was to put him out to pasture and let him start a charity for at risk boys? It doesn't get more Kafkaesque than that, and that's a much larger crime in my view.
But...permit me to cut to the chase here, this is what I would really rather talk about, and the lesson to be learned from the Penn State scandal:
Are all institutions--from media, congress,military,sports,more--in free fall distrust?
21 Jan via Twitter for BlackBerry®
Let me state that I long have deeply admired Ms. Katrina. No, Ms. Katrina, it's not just free fall distrust..it's a little more complicated than that.
What happened at Penn State, and curiously, what is happening with the Occupy and related movements, is that bureaucracies in general, are being exposed for the rotten, corrupt entities that they are. It's going to be shown that everything surrounding Penn State and the coverup was about protecting the bureaucracy. A bureaucracy which, more often than not, is essentially Kabuki. When you have a situation like this, how else is the public supposed to react?
How bad is it? It's so bad that not even the mainstream media, a corrupt bureaucracy unto itself, bought and paid for by people who feel the Renaissance was a mistake, let alone the American Revolution, can brainwash the masses anymore into seeing things the Elite way. We're at a point in time in history, where anything rotten is going to be exposed and systematically destroyed. Because the people are standing up and showing they're not going to put up with this anymore.
This is why we have infowars (SOPA and PIPA are part of that discussion), this is why alliances are crazy all over the place (for the Ron Paul haters out there, and they are legion on DKos, he's supported and/or endorsed by many admired here: Jesse Ventura, Julian Assange, Anonymous-because they all understand completely, if you have no civil liberties at all, you won't need to worry about your civil rights, Paul has been strong on both civil liberties and speaking truth to power). I bring up Paul because when you can no longer divide the masses, when both the working class left and working class right can't be brainwashed anymore, when the same protests are happening daily in cities worldwide, your hold on power is in absolute jeopardy. What are the authorities going to do, call all of us terrorists?
So...why trust when it becomes blindingly obvious by the day the system is broken on all levels? It's kind of funny, all these pols in their stump speeches imploring their audiences to (with the pol's alleged assistance, of course) "take their country back", then doing nothing while people get arrested in the process of taking their advice. doesn't get any more Kabuki than that. Governments' often hostile reaction to Occupy protesters is eventually about protecting the bureaucracy and nothing else.
It's going to be an interesting summer. If you think cops were doing stupid things on camera back in the fall, wait until May or June, when the protest volume will be turned up to maximum. Because Occupy is not going away, it's only going to get stronger and louder, and it's going to be a game changer. During a Presidential election year, thing can't only help but get spicy, but if history is any indication, the people are going to win this one.