Reality Descends – On PSU and America

Bonfire of The Vanities

I’ve never quite reached the level of alienation in my contrarian ideology where I turn into an individual like Heath Ledger’s Joker character. I’m not quite able to just want it all to burn. Thus it makes me stop and take a breath when someone I like and respect blogs that “I didn’t become a conservative to defend our glorious social order. In fact, I wanted to destroy it, because it is broken.” Yet there are times when the only way to fix our system and clean out the lies and dishonesty is to drag forth a squealing sacred cow and butcher in plain view of a horrified public. As much as I hate to think this; perhaps Savonarola had a point.


We recently had an excellent opportunity to do just that with Penn State football. RS. Colleague, Jeff Emanuel suggested we give them the death penalty. Sadly, as we read below, we missed the opportunity to send our corrupt and decadent society a clear and painful message.

It typically takes the NCAA months to complete a case against a school. Since this only took a few weeks, many believe that PSU has agreed to whatever punishment it is about to be handed.
The sanctions: A $60 million fine, four-year bowl ban, scholarship reductions of 10 per year for four years, all wins since 1998 have been vacated, and five years probation. All current players will be allowed to transfer schools without sitting out a year. So basically, the NCAA went as far as it could without giving the school the death penalty

(Ht: Business Insider)

Somewhere Special Inspector General, TARP, Niel Barofsky is laughing and saying and saying “I told you so!” Perhaps in his new book Bailout. And if so, it is only just and accurate that he rub our noses in it. Sport frequently mirrors life, and if what Niel Barofsky alleges in a recent New York Times article is the Gospel truth, Jerry Sandusky is better metaphor for modern American leadership than any of us would like to admit. Note the depressing similarity between what Barofsky was told below and how the NCAA handled PSU’s football program above.


“The common refrain went like this,” Mr. Barofsky writes. “There are three different types of I.G.’s. You can be a lap dog, a watchdog or a junkyard dog.” A lap dog is seen as too timid, he was told. But being a junkyard dog was also ill-advised. “What you want to be is a watchdog,” he continues. “The agency should perceive you as a constructive but independent partner, helping to make things better for the agency, so everyone is better off.” He also learned, he says, that success as an inspector general meant that investigations come second. Don’t second-guess the Treasury. Instead, “focus on process.”

This is the classic whitewash mentality. The bureaucracy sends a few scapegoats off to the desert wastes. The people are fed a show trial to assuage their anger. The process remains just as corrupt, the game just as rigged, and the society just as decadent as it was before the massive volumes of **** hit the oscillating rotary device. As long as the walls are cleaned and repainted and the room no longer stinks nobody really cares.

To borrow another Batman metaphor, you could understand exactly how someone like Barofsky could get seduced and turned into “Two-Face.” Perhaps this is why I watch the stock markets open in the toilet this morning and an evil part of my being smells the smell of victory. I lose on this deal just like a lot of you do as well. It’s just that I somehow am willing to give it up and endure it like a splitting hangover on the first day of Lent. Maybe the coming recession will have a positive silver lining if it makes us change our ways and become a more virtuous society instead of the Too Big To Fail Nation we are right now.



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