Saturday, November 19, 2011


Uhh, new husband, please!  (Reuters)

According to London’s The Telegraph, “Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s wife is considering divorce following the latest claims linking him to a call-girl network in Northern France, but she fears leaving him will send him into a nervous breakdown.”

How sweet. 

Mrs. Herman Cain is another political wife who must be wondering where all the good times have gone.  She’s been dragged into defending her US Presidential candidate hopeful husband against allegations of sexually harassing several women.  Mrs. Cain told Fox News, “I’m thinking he would have to have a split personality to do the things that were said.” 

How sweet.

Both Anne Sinclair (that’s she, Mrs. DS-K, in the top photo) and Gloria Cain will undoubtedly come through it all without much more than bad memories.  There is no personal mark they will bear.

Then there is Dorothy Sandusky, wife of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.  I’ve neither heard nor read a word linking her to the atrocities said to be committed by her husband, but that does not matter. Her life as she knows it is over.  

In ancient Athens, a criminal’s family could be banished from the city.  In a way that might have been merciful, for they suffered their ignominy in exile.  Today that is not possible. The media siege has begun and will not end without engulfing her. 

I’m as shocked as anyone.  I grew up in Penn State’s backyard, where choosing Pitt or Penn State set you on a life-long course.  Loyalties ran deep and, even though I went to neither university, I had so many friends and relatives who did that I always felt I were a distant cousin to the schools.    

When the story broke about Sandusky being indicted for allegedly attacking young boys in the showers of Penn State’s football locker room, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  Had it been at some school to which I felt no kinship, perhaps I’d have accepted it more readily, because I’m not naïve about evil.  It walks this earth doing unimaginable deeds 24/7.

Evil can deceive a community for decades while brutally preying on its most vulnerable, and if exposed, bring down the institutions that nurtured it and the venerated who mentored it.  Just ask Penn State’s Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno.

Evil is a glib and facile adversary; a headline grabber nonpareil, but it takes patience, dedication, and commitment to do good.  Let us pray that some great good beyond the conviction of the guilty comes out of all of that has happened at Penn State. 

If not, perhaps all of us are guilty.



  1. Perhaps, the good that will come out of this is that more young people will speak up, and the danger of committing these atrocious acts will slow them down (naive, I know). What's the old quote about Evil triumphing when good men do nothing? I think everyone was more interested in protecting the adults, and very conveniently forgot the victims. Gets me in the gut, just as the stories of the child sex trade. Very bad.

  2. The first concerns uttered were for the football program. One of the numerous reports I read claimed that football brings in over thirty million dollars a year to the sports' programs at Penn State. I bet two-thirds to three-quarters of that money goes right back into the football program. Many years ago, a friend was the president of the University of Villanova, a name you must recognize, Jeff. Villanova was in great need of a new law library. The fundraisers were not successful and the library fund just about died from lack of interest. The following year the alumni kicked off multiple fundraisers for a new football stadium. Donations poured in. Priorities were maintained.

    My daughter and I went on a tour of Boston College in the mid-nineties when she was deciding on applying. The tour guide, female, talked a bit about the variety of majors, the living accommodations, the food, and a lot about the sports programs. She assured us that the sports programs were always getting better. When we got off the bus, a man, who was touring with his daughter, commented that, considering the tuition, he would have preferred to hear that the academic programs were always getting better. When the tour guide at MIT was asked about the sports programs, his response was, "If you are interested in any sport, you just have to sign up during orientation."

    As the Irish would say (I don't mean Notre Dame), it is hang the devil between the evil of the Catholic Church and the church of football. Destroying lives is nothing in comparison to saving the institution. When I first heard the accusations about Sandusky, I didn't understand the comparison. I was thinking about college age boys not literal "boys", children. As to Dorothy Sandusky, she and her husband fostered and adopted children. Unless all of the children were female, it is unlikely that he wasn't violating the children under his roof. He set up the Second Mile camps to give himself a broader choice, a cynical and calculating move that relegates him to a deeper level of hell.

    More young people are unlikely to come forward. Sandusky, like the priests and the hierarchy who protected them, don't just violate the bodies of their victims, they violate their minds, too. The children hear constantly from their abusers that no one will believe them. Some children are accused of being the seducers. Children have a sell by date. Eventually, they grow older and men who like male children move on to the new batch. And the children still hear constantly that their abusers are wonderful men, so interested in helping disadvantaged children. What kind of monster is this child who has turned on his benefactor, this great and good man, "for they are all honorable men."

    Sandusky very likely would have continued to get away from punishment if he hadn't agreed to do the NBC interview with Bob Kostas. Instead of reacting with horror when Kostas asked him if he was sexually attracted to young boys, he asked Kostas to clarify the question.

    Penn State might cease to exist when it is driven into the ground by civil suits and the judgments that will be awarded. Joe Paterno should be tried and sent to prison because he was an enabler. There was no way he did not know what Sandusky was doing. Does anyone believe he would not have demanded and received a full explanation when his right hand resigned at the age of 55 and was paid an outrageous pension? Paterno is the pope in the church of football. So what if he is 84? He wasn't an old man burdened by age the day before the story made news and he certainly wasn't an old man for all those years that Sandusky sodomized little boys in the showers of Paterno's personal fiefdom.

    The physical and sexual abuse of children, both genders, will continue as long as there is free will. The adults make a choice; the children don't have one.

  3. I thought the subject should be raised and from what each of you wrote I'm glad that I did. Let us hope that the good prevail and the evil perish. Rapidly.