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Tamper Resistant Language, Bomb Proof Love

When I was at Penn State in the 1980s, one of my Spanish professors was an older gay man. How did we know he was gay? It seemed evident to us students that this small, shy, demur, effeminate, carefully dressed man was probably a homosexual. That he also lived a quiet life with another man in a beautiful old stone house with perfect lawncare and meticulous flower beds on the historic north end of campus pretty much cemented our conclusion.

We did not care about his sexual identity, and he did not demand or expect that we did care. He never mentioned it, and instead lived and taught in dignity. We gave him our loyalty and respect because he was a phenomenal teacher, who taught 400-level Spanish language literature from a place of deep passion and personal resonance. He could easily have been an English literature professor quoting Shakespeare, exhorting his students to comprehend the subtle nuances The Bard emanated from the stage to his audiences. But instead, he taught us The Aleph, among other deep and inspiring masterpieces of the Spanish language. This professor did not only teach us the most complex spoken and written Spanish, he also taught us to think carefully. About symbols, potential meanings of words, and the whys of writers of all languages; the reason for the idea-conveying purpose of literature, in any language.

His courses required real contemplation and reflection, and they strengthened our brain muscles. As a result, our professor lived on in our lives as a great teacher who greatly rounded us as individuals.

Fast forward to today, and every aspect and angle of human sexuality is daily artificially and forcefully thrust upon all of us, regardless of our age, with demands that we embrace all of it and simultaneously abandon thousands of years of shared human culture, religion, and biological science. This brutal, crass sexuality is the dominant subject of just about every subject, be it science, math, or language. This is a shock-and-awe, beat-you-over-the-head, we-will-destroy-you, revolutionary assault being led by people whom reporter Salena Zito calls the curators of culture. That is, people with careers in academia, education, and journalism. As in, writers of fact and fiction, reporters of human behavior, the (historically speaking) diligent and careful chroniclers of human culture.

Contrasted with Dark Ages monks carefully preserving the written word and human knowledge behind stone walls, and even with academics of the recent past like my gay Spanish professor who was devoted to the rules of Spanish language, these modern day curators of culture are neither diligent nor careful nor deep nor meaningful. Rather, they are rampaging intellectual rapists and murderers, leading a grotesque attack on what had been one of humanity’s most tolerant, productive, and vibrant cultures, ever, America.

The biggest of their sexual assaults is the demand for new pronoun uses, for which the English language, like all languages except Esperanto, is unprepared and thus will never naturally accommodate. For example, you could not write a literary masterpiece using the bastardized pronouns now hobnailed onto daily English usage, except maybe as a farce to highlight the ridiculousness of the self-appointed pronoun police and culture-raping revolutionaries. Like all languages, and probably more so than most, English is a mix of different languages (German, French, Celtic), and has its own long-developed unique rules that render it tamper-resistant.

If you try to communicate in English using the revolutionary pronouns (e.g. they for a woman who self identifies as both man and woman), you fall flat on your face, because this attempt to bodger English just doesn’t work. It can’t possibly work, because all languages are designed to help humans maximally communicate with one another. All languages have rules that maximize their effectiveness so that people may fully comprehend one another.

Which means that this sexual revolutionary assault via pronouns is not really about erasing lines between people and bringing people together. Rather, it is about erecting barriers and causing confusion. Religious Americans have identified the new pronoun mis-use as a modern day Tower of Babel situation, just begging for divine intervention. It certainly seems to be that significant to me.

However, whatever linguistic rules of English may be daily axe-murdered by woke pronounsters, my primary objection to them is that they fail the one universal language spoken by all humans: Love. While deliberately sowing confusion and fierce disagreement about the most elementary aspects of science and human relationships, the revolutionary pronounsters are also trying to destroy (not expand) the concept of love. Love, the truest, most pure universal language which can bind all humans to each other in the truest of relationships, and has been known humanity-wide since the dawn of our species by fidelity, commitment, and truth, is now being exploded by this sexual assault by mispronoun. Every human culture has sanctified love through marriage and commitment, family, honesty, and truth, baseline values all now being thrown out the window and publicly burned at the stake by the wokesters.

Love is a simple thing, and it is the one thing that all humans around the globe immediately understand. Love is bomb proof and it will get us through this turmoil, misused pronouns notwithstanding. Dear child, I am your parent, I created you, and I will always always always love you, no matter what f**king asinine pronouns you have been disinformed and misinformed to use by evil people who are misusing you as cannon fodder in their inglorious revolution against God knows what.

PA’s Forester Jim Finley Enters the Forest Cathedral

Penn State forestry professor emeritus, department head, and all-things-forestry guru Jim Finley died yesterday. I was told that he was either felling a large tree on his property, or he was trying to dislodge a large tree that had been felled but was hung up on another tree. Whatever the actual facts are, Jim died from the tree falling on him. It is a reminder that even the best, most experienced forestry professionals are at grave risk.

As trite and awkward as it sounds to write here, the fact is that Jim Finley died doing what he loved in the environment he considered sacred. I am quite sure that had he been asked about whether he would like to die from a tree falling on him, or some more peaceful and less traumatic way, he would have given us the look he is giving below. It is that knowing “Why are you saying that, you know it is wrong” look. In his mid-70s, Jim was nowhere ready to leave us, and we were nowhere ready to let go of him.

His death is a huge loss.

Jim was a remarkable man, who I admired, and who left a way outsized hand print on Pennsylvania conservation and the practice of forestry in eastern America. He was a force to be reckoned with, an institution in his own right, a political-cultural movement, a gentle soul with a will of iron, kind and easy but also passionate and unrelenting.

He did not suffer fools easily, though he accepted honest debate and earnest dissent exactly the way an academic ought to: His eyes took on this hard laser focus, and you could tell he was actively listening and processing, not always ready to give an answer, either. His response might come tomorrow or next year, and if your argument was good, you could tell it had moderated Jim’s perspective.

Jim Finley was an academic, and sometimes prone to the idealism that academics naturally grow into. However, he also had the ability to be hands-on practical, and even more important, he had the ability to support aggressive, hands-on, totally practical forestry practices. You know, the kinds of visual impacts that most urbanites recoil in horror from, and which many land conservation groups really did not want to see, either, no matter how scientifically they were needed or justified. It is an admirable and rare trait to be able to be honest about unpleasant things, and Jim could look at a heavily cut tract with tree tops lying all over the place, and cheerfully explain all of the wonderful things that were now going to follow on the heels of all that disturbance. Because of Jim, conservation easements in Pennsylvania are now a lot more forestry-friendly than they used to be. And a landowner who is able to manage his or her forest as aggressively as they need to under a conservation easement, is a landowner who is much more likely to sign that easement and protect their land in the first place.

Jim invited me to speak to his classes a couple of times, and we worked together when I was at DCNR and the Conservation Fund. I knew him when I was a kid in State College, I knew him as a professional forester and academic at Penn State, and I knew him as a colleague of land conservation legend and Penn State forester Joe Ibberson, whose PSU forestry department endowment Jim presided over at the end of his formal career. It is always a huge loss when someone of Jim’s high caliber leaves us, but it is even more so when he was just starting to become mature, as he would put it in the terms of a tree.

So long, old friend. Happy travels in your peaceful forest cathedral. We who are left behind mourn your untimely departure and we will miss you greatly. You were a hell of a guy, Jim.

Wooden bowls and a vase turned by Jim Finley. Photo kindly provided by forester Dale G.

Why I write and keep a blog

Most people keep their opinions to themselves, at least initially, and so they might wonder why a person maintains an opinion blog. Many other people simply do not like to write, and so they might wonder why other people do write on purpose. Hopefully both questions can be answered here.

Let’s start with why I write.

Simply, I write because I really like to write. Just like other people really like chocolate, or listening to certain music. It is an urge in me like some people have to play music, paint, sing, perform in plays, or downhill ski. I enjoy writing because it gives me a sense of satisfaction that very few other things provide. Writing comes naturally to me, and although I am a good public speaker and I always welcome opportunities to speak publicly, writing really gives me my best opportunity to be creative.

And that is it in a nutshell; writing is my own best possible act of creativity. Because I suck crap with tools and wood. My mechanical skills are up there with Cro Magnon man inventing the stone wheel, maybe. No one wants to hear my opinions any more, so writing is what I got left.

I was not always a competent writer. Although I did pretty well writing for English teachers in high school, it was a couple writing classes at Penn State that helped me focus on writing as an act of personal self-expression. As opposed to simply reporting facts. One of the courses was business writing and communication, and the other was creative fiction writing. Were any of my kids to take these college courses today, I would accuse them of wasting my hard-earned money on tom-foolery. But for me, some 38 years ago, these two courses brought together an inner passion, a need, and the mechanics of how to meet that need.

Now, when we couple that urge to write with perhaps the most openly opinionated person you have ever met, the blog naturally follows. A blog gives me the ability to explain why and how I think about substantive issues, and also to exercise that creative urge.

You might ask how or why I became so opinionated. And the simple and honest answer is, I have always been a pain in the ass in this department. That is, The Niggling Facts and I Want to Know Why and That is Not Fair Department. Maybe that is three separate departments, but I am putting them all in one. Probably my best personal trait is the one that gets me into the most scrapes, the That is Not Fair department. What most people simply accept as a daily parade of selfish and dishonest acts, I just cannot take. My sense of justice and my severe opposition to all forms of injustice is hard-wired into me. I hate cheating and lying, double standards, and general acts of phoniness. Can’t help it.

It all started because I was that little kid at the super market who said loudly “Mom, that man has three eyes. Why does that man have three eyes, Mom? Hey mister man, why do you have three eyes?”

And in fact, the art of being annoying and articulate just kept on improving from that point over the years. Add some adult experiences and voila!, we have a blog writer.

Most people do not have the luxury of expressing their opinions on everything from toilet paper hoarding to three-eyed politicians and the scum-sucking self-serving sycophants who enable them. I am not sure I have this luxury, either, but I have made sure to be able to afford it. Because if I did not express myself through politics and or public policy, I would have to find some other way to convey opinions that I believe are well reasoned and fair. Having failed to attain elected office, and having self-quarantined myself from taxpayer-funded public agency death-trap jobs that most Americans would kill for, all I have left is either sitting at a bar somewhere, getting drunk, and ranting away about politics to whoever will sit close enough to listen to me, or writing the blog.

I choose the blog.

is Penn State for real?

I know, I know, PSU alum are not supposed to criticize our Mother Ship, Penn State University. But the cold hard facts are material, and it is important to at least raise one’s voice about important things.

For the record, I do not hate Penn State, though I have severed my commitment to PSU football because of the brutally unfair way the PSU board treated my hero and universally admired icon  coach Joe Paterno. No, the opposite is true, I care very much about PSU.  I am grateful for the stellar undergraduate education I received there. In fact, I received as good or better an education at PSU as or than available at supposedly elite Ivy League schools. That is because PSU is so large, has so many facilities and professors, that anyone who really wants to be educated, to talk with their professors, to spend time debating and studying with like-minded students, can spend all their time as a student being educated. If they but want to.

Which is pretty much what I did there. I served on the Student Senate, ran for student body president, engaged in all kinds of political activism, and studied, studied, studied. My professors, notably Art Goldschmidt, Jackson Spielvogel, Jim Eisenstein, and especially Ed Keynes, helped me grow as only a devoted educator can do. I served many of my best professors as a teaching or research assistant. They each studied me, saw my strengths and weaknesses, and challenged me in ways and in areas where I needed to grow the most, and where that growth would matter the most to my eventual debut as an educated adult.

On the other hand, my impression of Ivy League schools is that they are so one-dimensional and politically correct, that one must only gain entry and then spend four years parroting and agreeing with one’s professors to get out with a degree. No growth, no challenge, no self-development at the Ivy league schools, just indoctrination by the staff and parroting back by the students. Where is the value in that?

So what the hell is going on at Penn State with the sky-high tuition? At $38,000 a year IN STATE tuition, PSU ranks right up there with many private schools as well as public universities OUT of state.

Being run now strictly as a profit-loss bottom-line business, as opposed to an educational institution, PSU sets tuition fees that are affordable only to wealthy students, crazy parents, foreign students backed by foreign governments, and  the children of PSU employees.  Ye olde regular American or Pennsylvanian family simply cannot afford the Pennsylvania STATE university.

This situation is exacerbated by a so-called professional caste of elected officials, state representatives and state senators, who tell us all the time that they are professionals and they know what they are doing. What they are doing with PSU is constantly shoveling into its gaping maw more and more taxpayer money, with zero strings attached. No special scholarships for highly qualifying Pennsylvania students. No accountability to the taxpayers, no service to the Pennsylvania public.

And for those who justify this unfair situation because PSU is a big research station, OK, you name the program and let’s look into it. Some are pretty good, and some are worthless. For example, PSU has its own breeder reactor, so we know the PSU students of nuclear physics are probably getting cutting-edge education from nuclear physics researchers there. On the other hand, fake “climate researcher” Michael Mann was just hugely discredited in a court of law, and ordered to pay big legal fees as a result. Mann could not produce in court the data he used to make his name peddling phony science. As we all know, science is totally about reproducability, the ability to reproduce experiments and outcomes that other scientists have claimed. Mann cannot do that. Mann has been a political activist first and foremost, and has besmirched PSU’s good name as a research institution.

Maybe Mann can be now sued by Pennsylvania taxpayers for his fraud, and compelled to create a scholarship fund with his many ill-gotten gains.

We can call it the “Penn State Real Science Scholarship Fund.” And if it has only five bucks in it, it will still be a hell of a lot more than PSU has so far designated to supporting qualified in-state students who want to study real subjects.

 

PolyClinic Psychiatric Hospital has the Craziest Signs

“We have been down here in the bowels of the PolyClinic Hospital for over thirty years, and yet we still regularly meet people who have worked upstairs in the same building for years who exclaim ‘I had no idea you were here in our building’,” said Joe Marinak, the Select Hearing Center‘s senior audiologist, now adjusting the ear buds in my head.

Having grown up shooting guns and working around chainsaws and farm machinery at a time before hearing protection became standard issue, my hearing now seemed just a little challenged. So it was time to get it checked again. So I used the closest hearing-checking facility possible, and sauntered over to the hulking concrete building, thinking “how hard could it be to locate…it’s an audiology center in a medical building…right?”

I was lucky to find Joe at all.

The welcome sign and the directory sign that greet visitors to that building are a freak show of bad planning and haphazard carelessness. The signs are almost crazy, kind of like most of the facility, which is, in fact, almost entirely devoted to psychiatric care (that is crazy people in non-PC talk land, which is where you are right now…non-PC talk land, not crazy people).

Here are some photos of some of the signs I encountered at PolyClinic on my journey to the “Select Hearing Center.”

While you are looking at the Memorial Building column, make sure to watch out for Landis Building locations. And how about the Mature Adult Services…is there a place for Immature Adult Services? After all, are not adults by definition mature, as age goes?

 

There is the at-first-glance-normal, quintessential “welcome” sign that is first presented to visitors when they enter the building foyer. The problem with this sign seems to be that there are actually two old buildings (Landis and Memorial) adjoined in the middle, where the common entrance remains, and at one time in the distant past people working and visiting there recognized that each building was separate and served distinctly different purposes. Now, however, each building has evolved and kind of morphed into one big indistinct building, and as such “it” has a bunch of service destinations listed: Lobotomies, second floor, electroshock third floor, padded cells in the basement, and so on (OK, I am joking here; this is just more non-PC, but it is, after all, still a crazy person place). The challenge to the people mis-managing this basic welcome sign developed whenever the services provided began to outnumber the lines on the sign. And so this sign has a greater number of destinations for both buildings than the sign has lines to accommodate. So the various destinations are just kind of listed ad hoc, no particular arrangement. Not even alphabetical. Maybe the people in charge of the signs are conducting experiments on the visitors? Or on the inmates? Or maybe they are laughing at us all, standing there dumbfounded, trying to make any sense out of any of this written communication.

Which way did he go, Mac? If you want Quality, you go one way, and if you want Safety, you go the exact opposite direction. This is called being Vertically Non-Integrated, or Linearly Mis-Aligned. Otherwise known as extremely confusing and unintelligible.

My favorite bizarro sign is the marketing one labeled “Our Pathway Journey.” It purports to represent the clear path upward and onward that the facility is taking toward improvement, better patient care, higher professional standards, and so on. Logically, such a sign, designed as this one is, would indicate that the path toward “quality” is the opposite of that toward “well-being,” despite the natural desire to think that walking the same single path with the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute will eventually arrive at all of these desirable destinations together. These are mutually exclusive directions, and to achieve one, you must trade off some other goal. You cannot walk the same pathway and arrive at all your destinations.

Check it out. The “Our Pathway” sign has arrows literally pointing in all directions, like a medley, like a random scattershot, like a crazy person would do if you asked them for directions. Arrows pointing in mutually exclusive, opposing directions actually tell us that this facility is helter skelter, and not organized. But if you are a crazy person, it probably makes perfect sense. Maybe a crazy person designed this sign for the UPMC Pinnacle Penn State Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute.

Talk about taking that fork in the road!

And nowhere in the building will you encounter a sign that says “You are now on the first floor of the Landis Building.” There is no “You are Here” map, anywhere.

No signs except the barely visible “Vending Area” sign on the very right hand edge of the photo. There were zero vending machines anywhere near this location.

More endless halls with no signs telling you where you were headed, or where you had come from

While on my long, zig-zagging path throughout the building to the audiology department, which I eventually determined is way way below grade, not on the ground floor as one sign stated, I had noticed that most of the long, windowless, door-less, maze-like bunker-like hallways had no signs at all. And when there were signs, they were either for non-existent vending machines or they pointed to a destination straight ahead, when in fact the correct but unmarked way was down the elevator.

The basement is strangely called the “Ground Floor.”

My other favorite sign is the one showing the eventual exact location of the audiology department, where I was headed. As you can see, though you have arrived there, the sign says that you can reach the department by going either left or right. Having wandered aimlessly about there in that basement for a long time, I can report back that this sign is not accurate. You have to go left, like the smaller sign below says.

Since when is the basement designated as the Ground Floor? You enter the building(s) on the ground floor, and work your way to the elevators, which take you down into the basement. The buttons on the elevators are marked B, for Basement.

It is natural to read this large sign overhead when you exit the elevator in the basement. It shows that the Select Hearing Center is both left and right, which I can tell you, is not true. The little eeny weeny sign on the wall beyond tells the truth: Go left, old man.

Let me tell you, if you were not crazy before you entered PolyClinic Psychiatric Hospital, you certainly have a much higher chance of being dazed and confused, if not downright nuts, once you have spent any time in there. Maybe this crazy sign arrangement is meant to keep the inmates from escaping? On my way back out I off-handedly commented about this weird experience to a middle-aged bespectacled worker bee-type lady just then exiting the staff lunch room, which is just above the foyer, invested in the heavy brickwork like a defensive fixture in a medieval castle.

She looked at me briefly, lucidly apprised my appearance, and then without a word in response she smartly walked down the hall to the “other” building on the other side of the foyer at a quick clip, looking down at her smart phone. Maybe she didn’t hear me? I could kind of tell her where the audiology department was, down in the basement, next to the morgue (no lie), if she were interested.

I have never felt so good to leave a building before. It was almost like escaping, and once outside I surreptitiously looked about before entering my vehicle. Had I been seen leaving?

As the old adage goes, truth is stranger than fiction. You couldn’t make these signs up, even if you tried. Ah what the hell, it’s the crazy person building. Who cares.

Coach Joe Paterno Vindicated

While there is a lot to learn from the Penn State – Jerry Sandusky debacle, such as adults should do common sense things, and adults should not rush to judgment, etc., there is one thing that has emerged from the recent trials involving former PSU president Graham Spanier and former assistant football coach Mike McQueary (who just hours ago won yet more millions of dollars from Penn State): Coach Joe Paterno was totally innocent.

Recall that legendary head football coach Joe Paterno was wrongly blamed for the actions and then results of past assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s mass child molesting ways. The whole thing was correctly a shock, but everyone who was around Sandusky was blamed. Hell, I think the board of trustees even tried to blame a janitor, no lie. The infamous Louis Freeh report was issued, one of the great works of bad fiction, and Joe Paterno was summarily fired.

The man had devoted himself to Penn State, to the improvement of college sports, to the improvement of college athaletics, to the novel idea that a gifted college athlete could also receive a quality education and go on to have a meaningful and successful career after college football, including (gasp) those athletes who did not make it into the NFL.

This is novel, because 99.8% of college football teams are like puppy mills, where young men are used up in a short term quest for wonderful ratings and glamour. It’s a pile of crap and it is wrong. Only Coach Joe Paterno and a couple others (Coach Lou from Notre Dame, of course) stood against that sick tide.

And that is why Coach Joe Paterno was pilloried in the wake of the Sandusky scandal.

Not because Paterno had done anything wrong, by act or by omission, but because he stood so far above everyone else around him. As college sports standards sank lower and lower, Joe stood for old fashioned values like hard work, earning your way, mentorship, patriotism, community, and all the other quaint values and ideas that are passe when so much money and fame are to be made.

So Paterno was fired early into the Sandusky scandal, by a spineless PSU board of trustees scared of its own shadow and lacking in the bravery and honesty that had marked Joe’s entire life, when he answered his front door on a weekend morning.

The results of this week’s trials are a kind of trial of Joe Paterno in absentia. Had Spanier been found guilty of certain charges, then one might have been able to ascribe the same guilt to Joe. And had PSU prevailed against Coach McQueary, and not lost for the umpteenth time, each time costing PSU millions of dollars, then one might have been able to say that PSU was right in firing Joe because he had failed to act when learning that Sandusky was a monster.

But none of that happened. Yes, this week Spanier was found guilty of the misdemeanor of child endangerment. Given that everyone on Planet Earth now knows the facts surrounding this, this makes sense.

What does not make sense is how Paterno’s great name has not been cleared.

Fact: Paterno called Spanier on a Sunday morning, having heard from McQueary the night before that Sandusky was seen raping a little boy in the football locker room.

Fact: Spanier then went on to hush it all up because of his fear of bad press. Fact: Spanier is a slime; hell, we could tell that just by his appearance and demeanor. But it is now official.

And it is also official that McQueary was a good guy and did what he was supposed to do.

What has not yet been made official is that Coach Joe Paterno remains one of the best human beings to have ever played a role in American sports, and he was wrongly accused, wrongly persecuted, wrongly terminated, and wrongly maligned even after his death.

This week’s court results vindicate Coach Joe Paterno’s good name and reputation.

Now put his damned statue back up and name Old Main after him.

“Black Shoes. Basic Blues. No Names. All Game”…. gets me back in the game

Congratulations to the Penn State football team on its defeat of Wisconsin for the Big Ten conference title last night.

How strange that Ohio State is in the running for the national title, when they neither beat Penn State in the regular season (OSU lost to PSU), nor did they win their conference (PSU won it last night).

We are back in the familiar conundrum of old, where PSU got and still gets no respect. How many decades did PSU go winning, winning, and winning, but frequently blocked  from playing for the national title?

It is time to stop this unfairness and give to PSU what is their due: A shot at the national title. This requires making the OSU guys feel bad, which is nearly always what happened to PSU in the past. Sorry OSU, enjoy a shot of your own medicine.

After coach Joe Paterno was railroaded and publicly humiliated at PSU by a weak board and a weaker CYA-run administration that made former assistant coach Mike McQueery a wealthy man, my interest in PSU everything pretty much dropped to zero. I stopped watching the games, stopped caring, stopped donating to the university, and basically dropped PSU from my life. The cataclysmic Paterno auto de fe signaled a break from the core values and principles I had grown up with and identified with. I was no longer Penn State Proud.

That said a lot, because I grew up in the State College area, graduated from PSU, my mother has her PhD from PSU, and I attended PSU home games from the time I was seven until I left for Vanderbilt to pursue my career as an academic.  Plenty of our family have graduated from PSU, and watching Penn State football together during the holidays was a family tradition. I went to school with two of the Paterno kids and still maintain contact with one of them, the one I was closest to and spent the most time with. Time spent in the Paterno home listening to Coach Paterno recruit players shaped my own life. He was all about clean living.

Last night’s win over Wisconsin was meaningful to me not because PSU is back in the winning game, but because the fans, the alumni, the board (more on that pathetic, worthless PSU board of trust-less-ees in a moment) and the administration have given Coach Franklin the breathing room to resurrect the destroyed team from the ashes of annihilation at the hands of State Senator Jake Corman, disgraced pedophile Jerry Sandusky, the NCAA, former FBI head Louis Freeh (a great fiction writer), PSU administrators, and the worthless PSU board.

Coach Franklin needed the space and time to breathe new life into a program that always was and always should be top ten quality. He needed the kind of space and patience Paterno had received. Getting the damned names off the jerseys, and getting back to the no-frills basics of Black Shoes, Basic Blues, No Names, All Game. Getting this space marks somewhat of a return to normalcy, where professionals are allowed to be professionals. Professionalism was one of the former hallmarks of PSU football. Staid dedication and loyalty were once a hallmark of PSU administrative culture. The former players’ conservative, humble, and respectful approach to playing football always contrasted with the weak hotdogging that plagues the NFL and most college teams.

Shades of Coach Joe Paterno here. Might we be touching greatness again? I am looking.

So I am now finding myself maybe interested once again in PSU football. But not all football, because I am still boycotting the NFL – not one NFL game watched this season – due to the league’s support of anti-America player Colin Kaepernick. Thank you, PSU folks. This could be rewarding to me, as leaving PSU football was a sad time in my life.

Now, about the PSU Board of Trustees, that worthless aggregation of empty names that supposedly runs Penn State University.

Last week, Harrisburg businessman Alex Hartzler was appointed to the PSU board by Governor Wolf. Alex and I attended PSU together, and we were both active in politics there. We have stayed in touch for the past fifteen years. Alex’s entrance into the snake den is a bright spot, because simply put, Alex don’t give a sh*t about whatever crybaby weak stuff the other members are bringing in as fodder for their continued presence there.

Alex and I differ on almost every policy subject. He is one of the few Democrats I know to ever emerge from Lancaster County, and a farm boy at that. I am a Constitutional conservative who thinks the Republican Party is worthless, and also from Pennsylvania farm country. While Alex has maintained his partisan loyalty to one party, even as it was going over the cliff, he has always displayed a sharp and incisive intellect and tough attitude that brooks no bullcrap. I think Alex Hartzler is exactly the kind of person to help PSU get its act together. Yes, he will want policies on climate change junk science, same-sex bathrooms, and a bunch of other PC issues that I believe are unworthy of consideration let alone debate, but at the end of the day, I expect to see lightning bolts from the moribund board. Thank you, Alex.

Let’s get the PSU show back on the road.

409+

Last week, under pressure to perform at an adult, professional level, the senior staff at the NCAA folded right before appearing in court.

The discovery phase of a lawsuit brought against the NCAA for its disproportionate over-correction of Penn State University was about to begin, and with a handful of damning NCAA emails already in hand, the meaty part of discovery would have exposed the heavy handed NCAA overlords for what they are: Incompetent, vacuous bullies.

The fictional Louis Freeh “report” aka Hit Piece and Flaming Bomb Meant to Humble Penn State has gradually yielded to the collective bits of disbelief and basic deductive logic surrounding the Joe Paterno Assassination aka The Oxbow Incident.

Knowing now what we already knew two years ago, the NCAA storm trooper and tactical nuke assault on one of the very few pristine colleges in the nation has blown up in the NCAA’s own face.

Yes, we got our 409 wins back, but we deserve so much more.

And to have undergone so much knee-jerk reaction injustice…..Penn State deserves compensation, to be made whole, to get back what we lost, if it’s remotely possible.

I want blood.

I want guts.

I want a shred of public justice for Joe Paterno and Penn State, and for the student athletes immorally saddled with faux guilt from the sick, distant actions of a man they’d never met, let alone heard of (Jerry Sandusky).

To begin with, the Joe Paterno statue immediately goes back to its original prominent place on campus.

Then, every member of the PSU board involved in the debacle issues a personal, hand written apology. And then each resigns. I’ve got a few names to go with that demand.

Then each NCAA staff member associated with the debacle issues a hand written apology, and then resigns.

That’s what real leaders do when they fail badly.

And for those folks who really want to demonstrate their earnest attitude, I’ve got some old Japanese swords you can fall on. I’m tempted to serve as your second….to ensure a clean ending, of course.

A clean ending to a tragedy, a failure to protect little boys, a failure to act like grown men and women and apply justice carefully, a failure to protect the grown boys on the team and the many professional educators and students unfairly tarnished by the NCAA’s hasty, shoot-first-ask-questions-never attitude.

And then there’s the scholarships, the bowl money PSU lost. The opportunities unfairly crushed. How do we get all that back?

And Mr Louis Freeh, you may be ex-FBI, but I’m ex-Penn State Nittany Lion. Don’t meet me in a dark alley.

Penn State Football deserves its wins back

The NCAA over-reached in its punishment of Penn State and its football program.

Some of the punishment has been reversed.

But Penn State still deserves to get their winning record back.  Those wins had zero to do with Jerry Sandusky’s pedophilia.

Many of us PSU almni suspect that the NCAA aimed to hurt Joe Paterno, the Paterno Way, and his football records.  The NCAA seemed disinterested in actual justice.  Poking holes in heroes makes everyone else equal.

NCAA, you owe us our record back.  Give us back our wins.

 

AG Kane exonerates Corbett with backhanded, ironic report

PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane “exonerated” Governor Tom Corbett with the most back-handed investigative report seen in a long time.

While acknowledging that Corbett, previously as AG himself, investigating Jerry Sandusky, did not politicize the Sandusky investigation, Kane still called Corbett’s choices in that investigation “inexcusable” and “inexplicable.”

Without question Penn Staters like me, who have followed the Sandusky debacle from beginning to end, we tend to feel like Penn State’s reputation never was considered by anyone involved.  Well, it was the paramount consideration by former PSU president Graham Spanier, at a time when the school’s reputation should not have mattered at all, and the kid victims’s interests should have been advanced immediately and at any cost.

So, too little, too late for Penn State by everyone, including a majority of the PSU trustees, Louis Freeh, and state officials everywhere.  If Corbett was guilty of failing to jump to Penn State’s defense, he was in damned good company.  Pissed at Corbett? OK, then be pissed at many of the sitting trustees.

But what irks me is to see the most politicized AG in Pennsylvania’s history use the words “inexcusable” and “inexplicable.”

Kane’s behavior in the AG office has been both of those words and much much more.

My favorite misdeed is how she refused to pursue the unethical PA Liquor Control Board members, whose financial misdeeds have been widely reported.

What has not been reported is how her family, Kane Trucking, holds PLCB contracts worth millions of dollars.  Kane’s failure to apply the law here could be due to a large financial incentive for her to not rock the PLCB gravy boat.  Is anyone investigating THAT?

No.  In fact, the establishment media has circled the wagons around Kane, with not one word yet mentioned in print about this ethical lapse of hers.  In fact, a fawning, fluffy, cheerful, supportive interview with Kane was posted by the Patriot News two weeks ago, and worse yet, by reporter Charles Thompson, a writer I have long considered one of the last real investigative reporters in Harrisburg.  Thompson made no mention of any of Kane’s lapses, or of her pending impeachment, in that unpaid advertising piece run by the Patriot News.  She was even photographed laughing away, her head held high, her artificially white teeth flashing for the camera.

While people are still asking if Kane’s report on Corbett’s role as AG has any salience for the governor’s race, what informed citizens want to know, is: Why does it appear that Kathleen Kane is protecting Kane Trucking’s PLCB contracts?  Now that is a real public policy question worth asking.