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The Ramble for 11-15-11 Sandusky, McQuery, Michael Jackson, And Star Power

Utica, NY– I’m back.  In more ways than one.

I spent the weekend here with my wife of 22 years, and had a wonderful time. Odd, that this was one of the first places I had to come to unload freight. It’s not as nice a place to be, as it was over the weekend.

Got a new phone over the weekend, as well.  The Droid 2. Nice phone but lots of things I have to unlearn. It’s quite different from the Palm I’ve carried for quite some time, now. The Palm was getting a little beat up…. life in the truck is hard on people…. and harder, I think on electronics.

 

I’m sitting in a Starbucks, drinking cocoa. They’re already playing Christmas music on the speakers. Too early. Just now, they’re playing a cut from the Neil Diamond Christmas album.  I’ve always admired Diamond, a wonderful voice and from all accounts a nice sort. But there’s something about one of the more popular Jewish entertainers, singing about Christ that rings as less than sincere. No, I’m not being anti-Semitic… not at all. I’d make the same comment about Al Gore hawking the latest Hummer.

I’m going to dispense with the unordered list, at least for today since it’s a bit cumbersome on the phone. (Yes, I’m writing this on my new Droid, just to see if I really can. ) Besides, I really only have one topic on my mind today.

 

SANDUSKY, ET AL:- First order of business, is to elevate a comment of David to a front line post:

Mike McQueary while he may stumbled on to the rape as innocent, and sort of reported it, his actions after the incident seem more consistent with a co-conspirator than anything.

Ok, McQueary spots a rape in progress, does not attempt to intervene, but does  sort report the crime.   He then observed that the perp still has access to children and has not modified his predatory behavior.   To which McQueary raises no known objections.

This is what is looks like to to me, when McQueary stumbled onto Jerry Sandusky’s predator operation, Joe Paterno offered him the heir apparent role in exchanged for McQueary continued tolerance Sandusky’s predatory behavior.

Having witnessed one predatory act by Sandusky,  McQueary had to assume that Sandusky was continuing the same behavior.   McQueary kept his mouth shut, got a paid coaching position and the promise to succeed Paterno.

I tell him:

Been pondering your point for a couple days, David… and what you say strikes me as one possibility. Another is that he felt himself stuck in an impossible situation. He’s trying not to lose his job… something Sandusky certainly had the power to arrange. Such a person might first appeal to a trusted authority figure… a father, perhaps.

I note that nobody including myself is questioning Sandusky’s culpability, here. The main issue in the chatter is invariably the reaction to what certainly was an immoral scene.

So, let’s examine what we have in evidence on this point; McQueary’s claim is initial reax was to call his father. Since I have no evidence he did not make such a call, it seems most logical to proceed with the assumption he did so call.

We have one of two possible reasons he would make such a call;

1:  Like a good little liberal, he doesn’t have the stones to take the action most people would have taken…. kicking Sandusky’s ass, or at least being confrontational. A good little liberal would nbe non-judgemental and certainly never violent.  Such a person would certainly make an appeal to an authority figure…. one not involved in government.

2: McQuery recognizes Sandusky as star power.  Consider my comments as regards Michael Jackson, a few days ago: [1]

Certainly, we can see by his whack-job behavior,  that Jackson was well beyond reason for a lot of years, but that point alone does not absolve him of his irresponsibility toward his health and the consequences of it. That irresponsibility was essentially reinforced by his star power. Let’s be honest enough to say that after the string of hits in the 80’s and early 90’s, the guy could spend an entire CD making artificial fart noises and nothing else, and his fans would be buying the things, talking about how talented he was, and that he was breaking new artistic ground, rather than simply breaking wind… and that brings me to the second point; Jackson is being held as innocent by his fans, since he was the star and could do no wrong.

It seems a lock sure bet to me that Sandusky had gotten to that level of start power at PSU. So, people would have some serious difficulty trusting a report of child abuse from such a person. (And should I need to remind anyone, that Jackson himself had a thing for small boys?) McQueary looked at the situation and recognized his far smaller… and easily replaceable… role at PSU, and balked at throwing away what he’d achived… because he doubted… and perhaps correctly… that anything would ever be done about what he saw. So, an appeal to a trusted authority figure… a desperate cry for help.

Of the two, the latter seems more likley, though I don’t rule out some combo of the two.

there seems something in human nature that causes us to ignore the wrongs of those we hold high, those who ahve what I’ve been calling “star power”.  I’m sure we each can point to other similar situations…. Bill Clinton, certainly, had is (rather irrational) defenders…. many of whom when called on such defense today, dance around or outright deny it.

There are many calls for some sort of governmental intervention in this case.  A congressional hearing so the pols can say they’ve taken action. All of it is for naught, of course.

Is the real cause, human nature? Not in Sanndusky, or in Jackson or Clinton, but in we, ourselves, I wonder?

Addendum:   (DavidL) As to Mike McQueary, On Deadline [2] as this nugget:

The Allentown Morning Call is reporting that in an e-mail to a former classmate, Penn State football assistant coach Mike McQueary said he had stopped an alleged rape of a boy by Jerry Sandusky in an athletic facility shower in 2002 and discussed it with police.

McQueary, who was placed on administrative leave last week, said in the e-mail he “did have discussions with police and with the official at the university in charge of police.” McQueary also wrote that he “is getting hammered for handling this the right way or what I thought at the time was right.”

So we have two versions of events, the grand jury version and the McQeary leaked e-mail version The e-mail version does not resolve any questions but would shift the blame.

I grant that McQueary found himself in very difficult situation   A powerful person was abusing his power.    Personally I know what I hope I would have done in McQuery’s  situation.     Not having been their, I can not say what I would have done.    That is why we have heroes , people who were brave enough to have done what they were supposed to do.   If it was easy, we would not call them heroes.