Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Newsweek's Last Hurrah: The Romney Wimp Issue

After scores of Obama covers, Newsweek placed a Republican, Governor Romney, on its August 6, 2012 cover. Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show had a hit song 4 decades ago, The Cover of the Rolling Stone, expressing the wishes of musicians to make the cover of the magazine.

That though is a dubious distinction for Republicans with Newsweek. The covers and articles on Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman verged on calumny. Of course, all is fair game in politics and free speech.

Today’s cover plagiarizes Newsweek’s November 1987 cover which labeled George H. W. Bush a wimp. Newsweek now admits that it was mistaken then. It won’t be around in 25 years to admit another mistake.

An emaciated Newsweek, soon to be consigned to the internet as an online publication, is marking its demise by calling the Governor a wimp. This may be the last hardcopy issue – a collector’s gem, right up there with Fact Magazine’s 1964 libelous cover and issue “The Unconscious of a Conservative: A Special Issue on the Mind of a Conservative,” subtitled “1,189 psychiatrists say Goldwater is psychologically unfit to be President.” Fact folded shortly afterwards.

Newsweek was sold for $1 in 2010 to Sidney Harman, who died shortly thereafter. The family announced last week that it’s pulling the financing of the magazine, which has been in a death spire for half a decade.

Time has passed Newsweek by. Newsweek Magazine proved itself unable to adjust to cable news, 24 hour news, the internet, and blogs, all of whom bring news to consumers more than once a week, and in greater depth. Earlier cycles killed off Coronet and Pageant, Life, Look and Saturday Evening Post while Readers Digest and Playboy are limping along today.

Instead of trying to expand its subscriber base, it ignored any pretense of media objectivity. Newsweek’s brand identity was as one of the largest media shills for President Obama as the country was turning against him and the Democrats, hence the Obama covers.

Newsweek’s newsstand sales are down to 40,000 weekly. Even an inflammatory cover like this is not going to boost sales. You can always read the article for free online if you wish.

I counted 12 “?”s, many of them rhetorical, in the article, hardly a sign of sound journalism. The writer actually admits The Governor is probably not a “wimp,” but more likely a “weenie.” He compares Governor Romney unfavorably to both President Bushes, President Reagan, and Governor Christy. The Governor is also damned as a “flip-flopper,” although a count by count could show President Obama as a greater flip-flopper.

That’s the summary of the four pages.

With the exception of a few articles like this one, Gertrude Stein's famous comment about Oakland applies to Newsweek- "There is no there there."

And that is why Newsweek is joining the media graveyard.

R.I.P. Newsweek

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Wisdom of President Obama

We have the wisdom of the Sphinx,

And the wisdom of the ages,

The wisdom of crocodiles

The wisdom of the Prophet

The wisdom of the Bible

And the wisdom of Solomon,

And then there's the wisdom of President Obama

“Just like we tried their plan, we tried our plan, and it worked. That’s the difference.”

       July 23, 2012, Oakland, California

“If you got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made it possible.”

        July 13, 2012

“The private sector is doing fine”

       June 8, 2012

“The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It’s wrong.”

        June 8, 2012

“Polish death camps”

        May 29, 2012

“This is my last election …. After my election I have more flexibility.”

           To Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, March, 26, 2012

"As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president - with the possible exceptions of Johnson, FDR and Lincoln - just in terms of what we've gotten done in modern history."

        2012  Interview with Steve Kroft for 60 Minutes

French President Nicholas Sarkozy “Netanyahu, I can’t stand him.”

President Obama “You are sick of him, but I have to work with him every day.”

           November 7, 2011 at G-20 Conference

“Americans still believe in an America where anything’s possible…. They just don’t think their leaders do.”

"There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and use an ATM. You don't go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you're using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate."

            June 14, 2011 on the Today Show

“I guess shovel-ready jobs weren’t as shovel-ready as we thought.”

            June 13, 2011

“It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to ensure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance at success too. My attitude is that if the economy’s good for the folks from the bottom up, it’s going to be good for everybody.”

“I do think that a certain point you’ve made enough money.”

“I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

       October 12, 2008, dialogue with Joe the Plumber

"Now this Memorial Day, as our Nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes, and I see many in the audience here today......." followed by my uncle helped liberate Auschwitz.

       Memorial Day Address 2008 (Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army)

“It is wonderful to be back in Oregon. Over the past 15 months, we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go, Alaska and Hawaii.”

       May 7, 2008, Beaverton, Oregon

“Well, Charlie, What I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”

        April 16, 2008. Primary Debate

“So, if somebody wants to build a coal powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they are going to be charged a large sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

       San Francisco Chronicle

“It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment as a way to express their frustration.”

        April 6, 2008 at Pacific Heights San Francisco fundraiser talking about small town Pennsylvania

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Today is Meatless Monday

Today Is Meatless Monday

Remember, today is Meatless Monday.

Didn’t you get the message from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)?

The USDA’s internal, interoffice newsletter online “Greening Headquarters Update” suggested a number of ways to green the building and operations. One of which was “One simple way to reduce your environmental impact while dining at our cafeterias is to participate in the ‘Meatless Monday’ initiative,” quoting the United Nations that “Animal agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gases and climate change.”

Meatless Monday started about a decade ago as an international campaign by Meatless Monday, Inc. and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health’s Center For a Livable Future. It has caught on as a voluntary 
 programs with thousands of cafeterias, dining halls, and restaurants offering meatless options on Monday.

It is based on a set of nutritional guidelines issued by USDA. The goals are to reduce our risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity, as well as reducing our carbon footprint.

The health risks are well known, but let us also remember that red meat is an essential source of protein.

How though does Meatless Monday tie into our carbon footprint?

Miss Piggy, Ferdinand the Bull. Elsie the Cow, the Billy goat, and Mary’s little lamb generate methane when they burp and carbon dioxide when they exhale. Animal flatulence is a major producer of greenhouse gases. Every cow produces about ½ lb daily of methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas.

According to a 2006 United Nations report the meat industry generates more greenhouse gasses than all the SUV’s, cars, trucks, planes and ships combined. Farm animals contribute about 18% of the world’s greenhouse gases.

Termites, those ubiquitous, hard to destroy, destructive termites are also a major generator of greenhouse gases.

We could, and undoubtedly some in the name of public health and global warming wish to mandate, go totally vegan, and slaughter all our farm animals. I see that on the agenda for some zealots.

It would not though solve the animals as a cause of global warming. We forget about the thundering herds of millions of herbivores in Africa, the water buffalo, wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, and impalas, not to mention the hippos, that roam the African plains.

Several groups, the President, and the EPA are similarly trying to effectively ban coal to save the world, while China is increasing its coal burning facilities faster than we can shutter ours.

Coal and cattle – two sources of greenhouse gasses to be eliminated by some in the current administration.

If someone wants to go vegan, become a vegetarian, go meatless on Monday or Fridays or any other day, try the Atkins Diet, Scarsdale Diet, Slim-Fast, Weight Watchers, the South Beach Diet, Mediterranean Diet, NutriSystems, or McDonalds, or any other, that’s fine. It’s a matter of personal choice.

If restaurants wish to offer a variety of menu options, high and low cholesterol, high calorie or low calorie, meat or meatless, gluten or gluten free, sugared or sugar free, salted or low salt, that’s their choice in a competitive marketplace.

However, when the government, especially a department whose primary role is to promote agriculture, takes a shot at a major agricultural industry, then that reflects a mindset antithetical  that of most Americans. It is yet another sign, albeit small and subtle, that this administration is not representative of the people.

Some day, in the name of the public health and reducing healthcare costs, they will try to mandate Meatless Mondays.

Someone at USDA forgot, or never knew, that what is regarded as “flyover” country by some on the two coasts is The Farm Belt. Agriculture includes ranching. Every Farm Belt state has two United States Senators, and they control the budget of USDA.

A veritable political ton of road apples was unleashed on USDA.

The reaction was immediate, and within a few hours the online posting was removed. The explanation given was that the Meatless Monday suggestion was included “without proper clearance.”

Today is Meatless Monday. Feel free to eat as you please.

Anaheim Is Exploding

Anaheim is Exploding in riots that echo the 1960's and 1970's. It is exploding against perceived police brutality.

Disneyland bills itself as “The happiest place on earth.” It is an escape from reality to Fantasyland. Disneyland is sparkling clean, crime free, gang free –a sometimes rare place for a safe, exciting family vacation.

Reality is the grit and grime of the urban world, in this case Anaheim, which has been rioting for a week. 

Anaheim is not the happiest place on earth. The visitors to Disneyland do not see the real Anaheim.

It is the largest city by population (330,000) and second in size in Orange County. Its growth was spurred by Disneyland. Anaheim has the largest convention center on the West Coast, a major league baseball stadium and team, and a professional hockey team and arena. The team calls itself the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - truly an identity crisis.

Anaheim is a city of high affluence and abject poverty, with poverty outpacing wealth. The unemployment rate is 13.7%.

The increasing Hispanic population is alienated. While comprising 53% of the population, the political structure does not represent them. Neither the Mayor, the five council members, nor police chief are Hispanic. The Hispanics believe that the police resources are concentrated on the affluent neighborhoods and the Disneyland area while their neighborhoods are under-policed and increasingly gang infested. They also believe that law enforcement can be brutal when it does patrol the Hispanic neighborhoods. The Anaheim police are particularly hostile to gang bangers.

Even Disneyland is a mixed blessing. The surrounding area is predominately Hispanic and reaps no benefits from Disneyland, but receives the traffic, noise, and air pollution (the nightly fireworks shows) from the Park. Disneyland to them is a nuisance.

Anaheim police officers shot and killed Manuel Diaz a week ago Saturday while he was running away. The officers assert Manuel, “a documented gang member,” was holding a concealed object in his front waistband with both hands.” He then turned towards the officers and started to pull the object from his waistband. He was unarmed. The rumors were that Manuel was first shot in the leg, and then while down on the ground, shot in the head execution style. That was the story that circulated through the barrio. The community does not trust the police.

The facts remain to be determined. 

The community erupted with rage, the lid on the pressure cooker had blown off. Riots ensued. The lack of trust, as in earlier riots over the past five decades, led to riots against actual or perceived police brutality.

The police’ image was not helped when a police dog handler accidentally released a police dog, which then attacked a resident holding a baby.

The community also remembers the police shooting in 2009 of Salvador Guillen, who was wounded. The 18 year old laid on the ground next to his bike. Whatever he did, or did not do, resulted in no charges filed against him. The officers said, perhaps coincidentally or suspiciously, that Guillen was reaching into his waistband, and they felt threatened.

Have suspcious waistbands replaced the "dropped" guns and knives of 4 decades ago?

I heard a rumor, which must be pervasive if I heard it, that the Anaheim police were retaliating for a gangbanger shotting an officer. I have no reason to believe this rumor, but it is believable to the Hispanic community. That indicates the lack of trust between the community and the police.
Riots broke out Sunday, and demonstrators stormed the lobby of the police department. That shows cajones.

That night, Joel Matthew Acevedo was shot and killed by Anaheim police after firing at officers. Joel was also a gang member with a criminal record.

The Mayor and City Council mishandled the situation Tuesday night. Their scheduled Council meeting started late while members of the community showed up in the hundreds to express their views. That would be a good opportunity to vent.

However, the crowd greatly exceeded the room’s capacity. The city leaders should have postponed the meeting for a short period of time while searching for a larger venue. Instead, they proceeded, locking scores out of the meeting. The Council remained in session until the last person in the room was given an opportunity to talk, but the impression to the greater community, about 1,000 outside, is that they were being shut out again.

Major riots erupted again. 20 businesses were vandalized with some looting.  

Riots and demonstrations continue through the week, with scores of arrests. Calls for peace have rung out from the Mayor, Police Chief and the Diaz family.

Another police shooting occurred Friday, but this time the fleeing suspect was wounded after firing at the police officers.

Sometimes bad karma happens. The Anaheim police have been involved in an unusally high 8 police involved shootings this year, of which five have been fatal.

Note though that the current outrage is directed at the Diaz shooting. His family filed the standard federal civil rights law suit on Tuesday. Even gangbangers have constitutional rights.

The Mayor and City Council have called for outside reviews of the Police Department. The U.S. Attorneys Office, the FBI, and others will investigate.

Attempts to build new bridges to the greater community are beginning.
In the meantime sympathy protests and demonstrations have broken out around the country.

The protests reached Disneyland yesterday, with about 50 protestors holding signs about police brutality in Anaheim. They attracted a host of reporters. Grumpy appeared. Police on horses are outside the main gate to Disneyland.

The Happiest Place on Earth cannot escape its surroundings.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Penn State, USF, Joe Nocera, the NCAA, and Fr. John J. Lo Schiavo, S.J.

No more Penn State blogging! I promised myself, but not you, no more Penn State! Enough of the two tragedies; first the victims of Jerry Sandusky, and second the NCAA questionable mugging of Penn State.

Then Joe Nocera wrote a column in the New York Times Tuesday.  Joe is an outstanding columnist for the Times. He has written several columns this year pillorying the NCAA for its arbitrary and capricious rules and decisions, feckless behavior, and overall incompetence (all my words – not his).

Joe has strongly argued that the NCAA should give Penn State the death penalty. He was disappointed therefore by the sanctions imposed on Penn State by the NCAA. Hence his Tuesday column.

The column though pushed two of my buttons , two quasi-repressed buttons – University of San Francisco basketball and Fr. Lo Schiavo, S.J..

I earned my Bachelors and JD degrees from USF in 6 ½ years from 1964 – 1970. Basketball was the soul of the University as the legacy of Bill Russell carried through the 1960’s. USF won two national titles, winning 60 straight games, being the first team to start three African Americans, Bill Russell, K. C. Jones and Hal Perry, in the NCAA finals. USF had the second best team on the West Coast in the 1960’s, but second to the great John Wooden UCLA teams. The stars during my stay at the Hilltop included Ollie Johnson, Joe Ellis, Russ Gumina, Erwin Mueller, Larry Blum, and Huey Thomas.

The Jesuits were incredible – highly educated, excellent teachers and outstanding leaders, with one exception, the Dean of Students and then Vice President of Student Affairs. Fr. John J. Lo Schiavo, S.J. Fr. Lo Schiavo, President Emeritus, is esteemed, being the living history of 6 decades of USF. He is the ambassador to the San Francisco community.

I though thought him to be arrogant, hypocritical, and smarmy.

One example should suffice. He appointed a student, whose name shall remain nameless, a student of dubious academic credentials, to Alpha Sigma Nu, the National Jesuit Honor Society. The student’s family was a major contributor to USF.

That was 1966. Let’s skip to 1982, three decades ago.

What could a news junkie in Springfield, Massachusetts do? The internet did not exist. ESPN (1979) and CNN (1980) were in their infancy.

Fortunately the AM radio picked up WCBS, the all-news station from New York City.

One afternoon, while writing an article, I heard this heart stopping, breaking news flash on WCBS: “Father Lo Schiavo, President of the University of San Francisco, announced the suspension of the basketball team” for an indefinite period (three years).

Fr. Lo Schiavo was heralded nationally for placing academic integrity over sports, a powerful sports program. Among those applauding the decision were ironically Bobby Knight and Joe Paterno.

Basketball had become in Fr. Lo Schiavo’s eyes a monster with numerous violations threatening the academic integrity of the school: recruiting, academic, and now criminal. Papers and exams were faked for students (rumors which existed when I was a student). Quintin Dailey, the star player, was accused of assaulting a coed in her dorm room. He also admitted to getting paid for a summer job for which he performed no work. He pled guilty to aggravated assault, served no jail time, and played in the NBA.

That was it. The death-penalty was self-imposed. The basketball program never made a sustained comeback. The university has the Phoenix as a symbol, but basketball has never had a Lazarus rebirth from the basketball dead. A few NCAA and NIT tournaments, but Gonzaga now dominates the conference.

Friends at USF told me the real story was that Fr. Lo Schiavo was so upset by his earlier appearance before the NCAA that he vowed it would never happen again. It didn’t, and he didn’t. There’s no need for a NCAA investigation when the school falls on its sword.

That sounded like the Fr. Lo Schiavo I had come to know. He, as President of USF, had lost control over the basketball program. Rather than looking inward to himself, he sacrificed basketball.

That’s what Joe Nocera recommended for Penn State – to follow the example of USF and Fr. Lo Schiavo. I don’t recommend that for any school.

Fortunately I have Michigan football to still root for.     

Thursday, July 26, 2012

El Monte Seeks a Sugar Fix for Its Budget

El Monte Seeks a Sugar Fix For Its Budget - a sugar tax.

El Monte is a city of 113,000 in the San Gabriel Valley with a 13.7% unemployment rate. It bills itself as “The end of the Santa Fe Trail.” It faces a problem common to many California cities. El Monte’s debt was downgraded in May. It is running out of money. Its current deficit is $1.1 million on a $50 million budget. The city is not yet on the edge of bankruptcy, but will run out of money in a few months.

Again, previous administrations, like many other California cities, entered into overly generous compensation packages. It has shrunk the city work force from 410 employees to 290. Mayor Andre Quintero is negotiating with the employee unions for adjustments, but no agreement has been reached.

The economic recession hit El Monte hard with a number of auto dealerships closing, depriving the city of substantial sales tax revenues. An existing half cent sales tax expires in 2014. The State has seized the redevelopment funds and otherwise reduced support. Several large employers have left the city.

El Monte is nearing the end of the trail.

Mayor Quintero proposed a sugar tax this week to plug the budgetary gap – one cent per ounce of “sugary – sweetened“ drinks. The estimate is that it will raise between $3.5 million and $7 million annually.

He said the purpose is to raise revenues, and then added that it will also contribute to improving the health of the residents. The allure of the sugar tax is the revenue potential. The estimate is that if imposed statewide in California, billions would flow into Sacramento.

If the goal is in fact to combat obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay, then the solution is simply to ban the drinks.

If sugar is the culprit, then it should be applied to donuts, pastries, cakes, pies, ice cream, double and triple cheeseburgers, beer and the list goes on.

The unilateral tax in the San Gabriel Valley will be an economic disaster for El Monte. The city is surrounded by the communities of Alhambra, Monterey Park, South El Monte, Temple City, and West Covina, and is a short driving distance to Hacienda Heights, La Puente, and Whittier in the vast metropolitan area with ill-defined surface boundary lines. The tax will drive residents to merchants in these cities. 

The commercial losers will be local bodegas, ma and pa small merchants, convenience stores, gas stations, grocers, restaurants, and theaters.

The residents will be the true losers as this heavily regressive tax is imposed on a poor citizenry. A cent per gallon would be 67 cents on a 2 liter (67.5 gallon) Coke or Pepsi, or $.72 a 12oz six pack. Since it imposed on sugary-sweetened drinks, it could apply to teas, Starbucks and other beverages.

A proposal to impose the tax statewide failed in the California legislature last year.

El Monte’s voters get to decide. The City Council put the measure on the November ballot.

Could it turn from sweet to sour?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tony Robbins' Fire Walking Burn

Tony Robbins is a highly successful motivational speaker. His seminars include an exercise in fire walking. Take action. Unleash the power within. 

My power though, however much or little it might be, is with the pen. The pen is mightier than the coal.

Fire walking is a counter intuitive exercise. Take your shoes off and walk on burning coals. Proponents claim over 3 million people have engaged in the spiritual exercise. I’m not one.

It’s apparently safe. Hence it serves as a relatively safe, but adrenaline rising experience in proving you can do it. I don’t need walking on burning coals to know my potential and limits, even though I’ve read about the secret to successful coal walking.

The scientists still can’t figure out the physics to non-burning hot coal walking, but they claim to have found Higgs Bosom, the God particle.

Go to Tony and find yourself. Go to Geneva and find God.

The truth to hot coal walking is to spread the coals out thinly.

Accidents happen, just as they do with the rattle snake handling Pentecostal Church of God in parts of Appalachia and rural communities. I recommend staying away from faiths which test you with hot embers or rattle snakes.

One of the unfortunate incidents occurred with Burger King a decade ago in Miami. Burger King, which advertises its burgers are “flame broiled,” probably should not create a “Team Building” experience of walking on hot coals.

I digress.

Do you know the way to San Jose? Tony Robbins did last week, but do you know how to walk on hot coals in San Jose? Apparently 21 Tony Robbins attendees did not. They did not find the power within but the coals underneath.

Tony Robbins professed to be shocked, just shocked. I’m sure the attendees, including the 21 with fried toes, signed a waiver of liability clause just in case accidents happen. His own lawyers were not shocked.

Our only experience with the Robbins acolytes was about 2 decades. We spent a week in Hawaii on the Big Island at the then Hyatt Regency Waikoloa (now the Hilton Waikoloa). Robbins was holding one of his multi-day adventures at the hotel, attended by over a host of willing students. They were on a limited food regime, perhaps a diet.

Actually, it might not have been Tony Robbins, but John Robbins, the son of Baskin-Robbins founder Irvine Robbins. John took a different path than father, becoming a world famous, award winning advocate on nutrition, environmentalism, and animal rights. He preaches a plant based diet and authored such books as Diet for a New America.

We thought it was Tony, but the signage was confusing.

In any event, following the rules of eating with children on vacation, we ordered pizzas in the hotel’s restaurant. The pizzas were not DiGiornos, but clearly cardboard microwave pizzas.
The hotel complex was not close to outside restaurants or shops, so two days later we picked up pizzas from a restaurant and brought them back to the hotel. The hotel complex is spread out over hundreds of acres with the units in three separate, detached buildings, connected by a walkway, monorail, or river boats. The boats and monorail are based on Disneyland’s. The Hyatt was decadent, and we loved every moment of it.

The Robbins attendees watched as we carried the pizzas back. Their eyes teared, mouths salivated, tongues longingly hung out, and eyes bulged. I could have scalped those savory, seductive aromatic, pepperoni and cheese pizzas for the cost of the vacation, but choose not to test their faith.

Burning coals or succulent pizzas? Find your inner self!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The NCAA-Penn State Lack of Institutional Control

More details are emerging on Penn State’s acquiescence to the severe sanctions imposed by the NCAA. 

The key to the NCAA acts was the Freeh Report’s findings of a lack of institutional control by the Administration and Board of Trustees. Even during the grand jury hearings and indictments the President and then Chairman of the Board kept the trustees in the dark.

Here’s what we found out later yesterday. Penn State President Rodney Erickson said he had no choice during discussions with President Mark Emmett of the NCAA. He trimmed the NCAA’s sanctions somewhat, but was basically given a take it or leave it ultimatum with the threat of the death penalty hanging over Penn State.

Of course, he had a choice. He could have stood up to Dr. Emmett and said he could not commit the University without the approval of Penn State’s Board of Trustees or without advice of counsel. Instead, he caved. The President, the new Chairwoman of the Board Karen Peetz, and the new Athletic Director signed off on the agreement before telling the Board.

He could have stood up on the ground of institutional control. The NCAA would have had to back down.

The president of a public university with 40,000 students, thousands of faculty, and staff needs a unique set of skills to succeed. He or she has to answer to the Board, the faculty, students, alumni, administrators, staff, and the community. Some presidents turn out to be strong leaders and others weak. Father Theodore Hesburgh of Notre Dame built a small football power into a world famous university and John Silber transformed Boston University from a strong university in Harvard’s shadow to an academic powerhouse in its own right.

President Erickson is starting out as a very weak leader, whom the Penn State family will probably run out of office within a few years.

The death penalty was quite possibly a bluff. Apparently, the NCAA rules clearly specify the grounds for imposition of the death penalty (I admit I have not read them). Penn State’s misconduct, no matter how egregious and outrageous, apparently did not meet any of those standards.

One would think that the emasculation of the football program, integral to Penn State, would have been approved by the Board.

However, we learn from Anthony Lubrano, a dissident Board member, that they were not consulted. Indeed, the President did not inform them until after reaching the agreement.

The Nittany alumni were sufficiently upset by the unceremonious firing of Coach Paterno that they elected Anthony and Adam Taliaferro, a former player, to the Board, defeating two incumbents.

Trustee Lubrano said yesterday “It’s really simple: I am frankly outraged as a member of the board of trustees that the university entered into a consent agreement without discussing it with the Board in advance of signing.” He added “If I’m going to be held accountable, I feel like I should’ve been part of that process,” followed by “I think it’s fair to say that a number of board members are upset.”  

If the Board was uninformed, or nor fully informed, then that is a lack of institutional control in which the NCAA is a party.

I’m as offended as anyone that Penn State allowed a pedophile to roam its athletic facilities and events for over a decade.

But I also subscribe to the rule of law, all the more essential in inflammatory situations. We are also taught in law school that there are two sides to every story. The Freeh Report is an incomplete one side of the story.
The NCAA Executive Committee and the Division I Board of Directors agreed with President Emmert to bypass the normal procedures. Thus, he became the investigator, judge, jury, and executioner.

The Penn State debacle was many things, but it was not an emergency which called for quick action by the NCAA. The NCAA’s processes were highly irregular and defied any normal concepts of due process. Admittedly, the NCAA is a voluntary, private contractual organization, but even its powers are not unrestricted. It has lost, for example, a couple of antitrust suits. A rush to judgment is especially perilous when passions are aroused.