Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Blinkofanaye

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks. I’ll open this thread every morning at 10am.

Thanks to all who came out to the anniversary party last night!

And for those who have the day off – have a great 3 day weekend! We’ll be back to the regular posting schedule Monday.

Photo by PoPville flickr user pablo.raw

103 Comment

  • RANT: couldnt sleep this nite after reading the Jury report of the peen state abuse case, the most disturbing stuff I have a read in a while, I believe that anyone who knew and didnt say anything to the police should be punished.
    RANT: the poor kids who has to go through that, they couls have saved many other kids, i guess since the kids come from poor family it wasnt a big deal for them
    RAVE: POP 5 years anniv yesterday

    • And I believe that people who have this knee-jerk reaction need take a deep breath. One of the things that is fundamental to our system of criminal justice (if you want to call it that) is that we do not punish people for inaction, we don’t have thought police only action police. And before any body trots out misprison of a felony, a conviction for that crime requires actual covering up, not just simple inaction. You can be all high and mighty about how people should have done something, until you are in a situation where you chose not to act, and someone got hurt. The point being, that you didn’t actually cause the harm, so you should not be punished. I would also note, that it was not Joe Paterno’s job to conduct an investigation, that would have fallen to the University and its athletic department, to which Paterno reported the incident.

      • I wouldn’t say that people need to go to jail for not saying anything to the police, but I think in this case a lot of folks failed a fundamental test of human decency — they knew something truly horrible and damaging was happening to those kids and didn’t DO anything beyond the very bare minimum about it. I think those folks deserve to be fired and deserve the criticism coming their way.

        • Paterno didn’t “know” anything. He had been told something by a graduate student. His job was to report this to the entity in charge of doing an investigation, the athletic department, and he did. I would also add no one in the media is blaming the graduate assistant. But he was 28 and fully capable of going to the police on his own. Paterno, on the other hand did not actually see the incident, but he did report it. What else would you have had him do to pass your fundamental test?

          • care.
            act like a responsible citizen.
            be a man.

          • I don’t want to belabor this, but I’m pretty sure the right thing to do was to go the police when it was clear that the problem wasn’t actually going to be addressed. But Paterno won’t go to jail for that, you’re right. Sandusky remained on staff for another 9 years. I think the fact that they formally acknowledged his actions but did nothing of worth implies a cover up. More people than Sandusky should be on trial (and are actually, for perjury).

          • To anon at 11;26 below this…your comments illustrate exactly what is lacking in this debate; substance. You throw out words like “care”, without saying what the means or phrases like “be man” or act like a “responsible citizen” without defining any of the terms. Apparently taking the accusations of a your graduate assistant at face value, despite the fact the person he was accusing was your long time colleague and presumably had more credibility with you, reporting the accusations to your two supervisors, and taking their assurances that they were investigating don’t meet your completely subjective and undefined criteria of what it means to be a a responsible person. But that’s probably because you just have to blame somebody because something bad happened, and the media has told you exactly who that should be.

          • anon 11:40,

            i’m sorry that you don’t understand what i meant by “care” “act like a responsible citizen” and “be a man”. here is what that means. you see to it that people that may be injured are okay. you make sure that police are involved. you talk to your “long time colleague ” and find out what happened.

            you check with the graduate student to see what he they did about it.

            it means taking care of people. it means seeming justice served. it means doing the right thing.

            and no, i don’t just have to blame someone, thanks for asking.

          • And here is the problem, none of those things were Paterno’s responsibility. His only responsibility was to report the incident, which he did. Should you get fired from your job if someone tells you your subordinate does something wrong, you report it, your boss doesn’t investigate? No of course you shouldn’t. Why should he go to the police on one person’s words against another? Actions like that also have the ability to ruin people’s lives. If Sandusky hadn’t done anything, if the graduate student was lying, accusations of child molestation, even if later proven false, never go away. Yet he reported it to his supervisor. That’s caring enough.

          • “Yet he reported it to his supervisor. That’s caring enough.”

            that attitude is hurting america.

          • jesus christ listen to yourself “…he reported [the child rape] to his supervisor. That’s caring enough.”

          • Since Jerry Sandusky was no longer on staff, reporting it to the athletic department was incorrect. Paterno should have told the GA to report it to the police and if he doesn’t do immediately, Joe will.

      • You put any of those guys up in court, and they’ll be found guilty. I don’t care what the law says, right now the DA could throw anything at them or the school and it would stick.

        • First of all, after years and years of being a criminal defense attorney, I can assure you that Joe Paterno would not be convicted in any court in Pennsylvania based on a DA throwing “anything” at him. It would have to be a little more substantive than that. Second, your “I don’t care what the law says” position is evidence that this whole boondoggle is a witch hunt and people, Like Paterno, who bear no criminal responsibility whatsoever, have to get lawyers to defend against all of you with your tar and feathers.

          • I rethought this and commented differently above. You should note that there are other people being tried for perjury in this case. And even if it doesn’t hold up in the court of law, the court of public opinion won’t ever let him live it down. He will probably be vilified from here on after. What’s worse to you?

          • Jail, jail is worse.

          • I guess that’s a matter of opinion. He won’t ever live this down. He wasn’t even allowed to retire from what was a historical legacy. His family won’t live this down. His name is now associated with child abuse, rape and the covering up of crimes for the collegiate sports’ almighty dollar.

            Sounds pretty miserable to me.

          • yeah, jail is worse

          • Tell that to OJ Simpson.

          • I don’t get it…OJ is in jail in Nevada

          • My point exactly. He got off for the crime of killing his wife, but only because the “court of law” couldn’t find him guilty. And after that, his wife’s family cleaned him out for any money he had. Clearly this guy’s life has been on an upswing ever since, right? The court of law didn’t find him guilty, so surely the court of public opinion would be easier on him. Right?

            Paterno is damned, regardless.

      • You are right. In this case, Paterno’s inaction was not criminal. He is not going to be prosecuted. However, it represents a grave lapse in judgement. Paterno himself has admitted that he wished he had done more. Therefore, his firing is completely justified.

        Also, we do have “thought police”. It is called intent. The same actions can result in very different punishments depending on what was in the mind of the perpetrator. Look at the Lululemon case. The “actions” were not being debated, only the “thoughts” of the perpetrator at the time the crime was committed.

        As for Sandusky, well, you know what they do to guys like that in prison…

        • Your point on intent is correct, and we also have hate crimes (different can of worms for a different time), but that intent can only be punished if comes with an action. Intent with no overt act = no crime.

          • GiantSquid

            Actually, you can convict on intent. I just recently sat on a jury where we were asked to convict on intent. The reason we ended up a mistrial was because some of my fellow jurors couldn’t understand what intent was. You are asked to get inside the accused head and based on the evidence, decide if intent was there.

      • All of this situation is so terrible. I’ve been crying all week about it, and I’m not typically an emotional person. But as someone who has spent the majority of my life with Joe Paterno as a virtual mentor and role model, it is hard to come to terms with. We don’t know the extent of his guilt at this point, but it brings up a whole range of nasty emotions, from anger to sadness to defensiveness to shame and horror. I know many of the students on campus look like a-holes for their behavior, but it is very difficult to adjust to the idea that your role model and mentor is not who you thought they were. Clearly, this is nothing compared to the pain of the victims, but this perspective does explain a lot of the insane reactions penn state folks are having, whether or not they are justified.

      • Paterno was told that his subordinate raped a ten-year-old boy on the team’s premises. Paterno should have called the cops, end of story. Maybe Paterno didn’t commit a crime, but he certainly deserved to lose his job, and he also deserves society’s scorn.

        • Why should he have called the cops end of story. How does he know the graduate student credit is credible. How do you know exactly what the student told him? Someone mentioned above about sexual assault rumors lasting even if the person is not guilty. He went to the entity who had responsibility for investigating it. You were probably one of those people who said “end of story” about the Duke lacrosse players also.

          • exactly. he should have called the cops. let the law figure out the truth. they have the responsibility for investigating. not his superiors.

            look, it’s simple, if you think a crime has been committed, call the cops.
            you people not seeing this scare the hell out of me.

          • No, he did not go to the entity that was responsible for investigating the incident, that is the job of the police, NOT the University. Child molestation is a criminal action and waaay out of the University’s league. This needed to be reported to the police, same day. Paterno should have told the assistant to report it to the police, he should NOT have taken over the responsibility of this and “reported up.” Everyone knows that “reporting up” is just a nice way to make everyone feel better when no one plans on doing anything.

          • If you haven’t read the indictment, you should. We are talking here about a full-on ass f*cking of a ten-year-old child, which was reported to Paterno by an eye-witness. Paterno thought McCreary was credible enough that he reported it to university officials. He should also have reported it to the police, whose job it is to investigate an allegation of a crime. That he didn’t do this is a serious moral failing.

            Frankly, I’m extremely sad that we’re even having this conversation. This whole awful tale, and the reaction of people like you, make me realize that I not only have to protect my kid from sexual predators. I also have to worry about “normal” people putting their own self interest above the safety of a child.

          • Well, he did say he was a criminal defense lawyer. It’s his job to protect the scum of the earth (someone’s got to do it, right?).

          • @Meg – innocent people are accused of crimes, too. And frankly, I wouldn’t want to live in a society where we didn’t have criminal defense attorneys. Yes, sometimes they are responsible for guilty people going free. But the alternative of innocent people going to jail is worse, in my opinion.

          • @Honey Badger. I’m not disagreeing with you, but the nature of the job means also defending people who really shouldn’t be defended (morally, not legally).

            Better him than me.

          • I guess this is the issue with anonymous postings. I am the one who said I was a criminal defense attorney, but that, and the jail is worse posts, were the only posts I made. I guess that shows there are more people than little old me who would defend Mr. Paterno. Also, Meg I hope one day you or a loved one is charged with a horrific crime they didn’t commit, and no one comes along to help. We’ll see how scummy you think we and our clients are then.

          • Kind of what you get for hiding behind “Anonymous.” Sorry for the mistake.

        • In response to Kenyon Dweller at 1:09, your second paragraph is pretty offensive. As a parent I’m sure this is frightening, but there’s no need to climb up on a high horse because people don’t share the same opinion as you on what the moral course of action should be.

          • actually, when people think that making sure that children are safe from being raped is climbing up on some moral high horse, we need more people on that “high horse” because that should be the very least we ask of people.

        • Do you really think it was a coincidence that after Sandusky got caught in 1998, he was suddenly out of favor on the coaching staff and told he would not replace Paterno and he was quickly retired? I believe more and more is going to start leaking out and it is not going to make the old boys club at Penn State look very good.

        • At some point shouldn’t JoePa have asked “Hey what ever happened to that kid that was raped in my shower room?”

      • You’re right that you never know how you’ll react until you are in the situation. That’s why I doubt that any of Paterno’s defenders would be singing the same tune if it had been their child that got raped by a predator who used his association with Penn State football to get his victims.

        • What was at stake for Paterno and others at Penn State?
          $70 millions a year in revenu for the school from a sports program that practically enslaves the student players,makes the millions on their backs,and when some children get rape on the school grounds,by someone connected to the football program and the legendary coach, no one says a word to the police,so not to disturb the money flow and the “legend” that Paterno is.

        • 100% correct. Sick world where people put higher value on a man’s football legacy than a basic moral requirement to protect children from rape.

          • +10000
            it is crazy how people get so fanatic that they forgot what is wrong/right!
            Seeing a 10 year old being raped and not calling the police is WRONG, I dont care where you went to school or what football team you follow. The assistant who first witness should also be fired!! I dont understand how so many people can agree to do something so WRONG.
            People should read the indictment before commenting on this, this is jury speaking not the medai, so stop acusing the media on this.
            Hopefully KARMA fired back.

      • PDleftMtP

        This is not a criminal question. This is a question of whether Paterno gets to keep his job. An eyewitness came to him and said “this guy is using his connection to your program to abuse children.” (Let’s be clear – Joe Paterno is not just some guy who works in the building. It’s HIS program.) By his own account, Paterno called a mid-level adminsistrator with a lot less real power than Paterno had and figure that’s all that concerned him. That’s not good enough, from anyone in charge, much less from someone whose job description is leadership of the young.

        I thought of JoePa as a symbol of the best of college sports. This whole thing makes me very sad. But it’s not a close question. And let’s be realistic – nobody is saying “oh, the university president got such a raw deal.” JoePa doesn’t get a pass just because he did great things as a football coach. He screwed up massively, regardless of whether he committed a crime, by not taking this seriously. He’s gone. He should be.

      • “One of the things that is fundamental to our system of criminal justice (if you want to call it that) is that we do not punish people for inaction [. . .]”

        Actually, in this particular case, we _do_ punish people for inaction.

        I didn’t realize this until I was listening to the PBS Newshour at some point last week, but it’s a legal requirement for people to report child sexual abuse to either the police or to Child Protective Services.


        From the transcript:

        RAY SUAREZ: [. . .] We look at the questions surrounding the school, including the legal and ethical issues at stake. Jeff Anderson is a trial lawyer who runs his own practice specializing in representing victims of childhood sexual abuse.

        Jeff, let’s begin with where this story begins, with a member of the football team staff seeing what he thinks is the commission of a crime in a university facility, Jerry Sandusky raping a young man, a boy. What legal obligations, not suggestions, not ethical obligations, but what legal obligations come into play at that moment?

        JEFF ANDERSON, attorney: Well, every adult in this scenario has a legal obligation to report any suspicion of sexual abuse, any suspicion to those trained to investigate, that is, to child protection or law enforcement.

        And the failure of the individuals to do that is a failure of their legal obligation, not to mention their moral.

        • And I have to say… from the grand jury report at http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/264788-sandusky-grand-jury-presentment , it looks very much like Paterno might have deliberately fudged on the severity of the incident when he reported it to his (nominal) superiors:

          [Be warned, the following excerpt is graphic.]

          “[The graduate assistant] saw a naked boy, Victim 2, whose age he estimated to be ten years old, with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky. [. . .] The next morning, a Saturday, the graduate assistant telephoned Paterno and went to Paterno’s home, where he reported what he had seen. [. . .] Paterno called Tim Curley (‘Curley’), Penn State Athletic Director and Paterno’s immediate supervisor, to his home the very next day, a Sunday, and reported to him that the graduate assistant had seen Jerry Sandusky in the Lasch Building showers fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy.”

  • Rant: Woke up at 4:30am, to be at work at 6am, on a Fed holiday. :/

    Revel: Banking the holiday and using it to visit family over Thanksgiving!

    Happy Veterans Day, guys.

  • Rave–Found $20 on the ground on the way to the metro this morning! I never find anything…but rarely lose anything so I guess I’m ahead.

  • Rant: Saw some truly a-holish behavior by a car driver towards a biker last night. 14th St near the Washington Monument. I was in my car and drove around a biker who was riding about 1 foot from the curb. Twice the guy driving the SUV in front of me, when we were all stopped at a red light, deliberately pulled over to within inches of a curb on the right to prevent the biker from riding by. Yeah, I know, bikes are supposed to stay in a full lane and not pass cars but I doubt this guy was doing this to force the biker to observe the law. He was just being a jerk. The biker jawed with him about it both times. Luckily nothing else came of it. It’s sad that some poeple have nothing better to do than mess with other people.

    • It’s legal for bikes to pass cars in their own lane both when they are moving and stopped.

    • The guy in the SUV pulled within inches of a curb to prevent a biker from passing on the right? As a cyclist, I got no problem with it. He’s perfectly within his right to do that. If he’s blocking a bike lane, he’s only legally allowed to do that if turning right (that’s why bike lanes are dashed as they approach intersections). I often times will bike in the center of the lane to prevent cars from passing me, but this is generally due to safety reasons and not me being a jerk, but regardless, it’s all legal. Anyways, if I were the cyclist I would’ve just queued up. Making the same vehicles pass you multiple times is irritating to everybody.

  • I submitted this too late for PoP to include it as a separate post – so hope you will all take a minute to read this here.

    INTO THE CURRENT – Burmese Political Prisoners

    No matter what one thinks of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, there is one thing we can count on. No demonstrators, organizers, marchers, journalists, “dirty hippies” or bongo players have to fear being hauled away by the military, tortured and thrown in a dungeon for twenty years.

    The military dictatorship that rules Burma remains one of the most secretive and brutally repressive regimes in the world. In 2007 the “Saffron Revolution” re-ignited the passion of the people and the hope for change, but it was crushed, resulting in an estimated 2,000 political prisoners still being held in inhuman conditions.

    INTO THE CURRENT is the work of Bangkok-based American journalist and filmmaker Jeanne Marie Hallacy and Santhar Aung, a video journalist who fled Burma in 2007 after filming footage that wound up in the Oscar-nominated film Burma VJ.


    This compelling and inspiring film is being shown at all four Busboys and Poets locations during November.

    The 14th & V. St. location will screen it this Sunday, Nov. 13 at 8:00. The 5th & K location on Nov. 27. http://www.busboysandpoets.com/

    The filmmaker, Jeanne Marie Hallacy may be present to speak after the November 13 screening.

    DONATIONS – I know that PoP readers frequently dream about their ideal jobs – which usually boils down to doing something creative that helps the world and requires lots of exotic travel. Well Jeanne Marie has been working that job for 30 dedicated years (though the exotic travel has been more of the squalid slum & refugee camp type.) She could use some financial support. You can contribute here!


  • Rant: Four months ago two jerks attempted to steal my car and caused $2500 in damage. Last night someone demolished the man’s passenger side window with a bigass rock.

    Rave: It’s Friday?

  • Rant: The guys in the hotel room next to me are smoking cigarettes like there is no tomorrow and the stench is coming into my room.

    Revel: DC bicyclists have no idea how good they have it. Saw a girl today come within inches of getting run over by a bus, and she didn’t even flinch. Needless to say, this wasn’t in DC. Is right of way about mass, or rule of law.

  • Rave: A day to work on the house. Anybody know of a cheap trash hauling service? Even one of those guys in a pickup truck who does it on the side?

  • Rave: The brave men and women in our armed forces.

    Rave: Finished a big solo project that no one else at work wanted to do. And got big kudos for it!

    Rant: Drivers in this area are either overly cautious (going under the speed limit with no obstructions and no inclimate weather to speak of) or complete whackadoos careening their 2000 lb death machines all over the road. Seemingly no in between.

    Rant: Saw a giant rat cross my porch my last night as I was pulling up to my house. Live in the cities for 13 years, never see a rat. Move to the suburbs, see a rat. Thanks to my sister, who tried to calm me down saying “It’s just a bald-tail squirrel!”

  • houseintherear

    Rant: Harry Thomas Jr. is infuriating. He’s sneaky and unprofessional. How on earth is this man still on the council?!!

    Raves: It’s Friday. Seeing the Foo tonight. Students are very well behaved today, for some strange reason.

  • Rave: Friday. Good weekend coming up. Checking out Mellow Mushroom tonight!

    Rave: Powerball ticket! If I win, I am giving $1 million to the hospital that brought my father back to life, and buying a super modern apartment in NYC (nothing flashy, just a dream of mine to own an apartment there since I was a teenager).

    Rant: Still no word on ‘le job.’ Was rather hoping something good would come of it today since today is 11/11/11 – like a job offer with a contract or something of the like. I found out ANOTHER person from my office is leaving and I’m sad as that person and another coworker of mine were the ones I formed the strongest bonds with and they are now leaving within two weeks of each other. It’s awful how that I am very happy for these coworkers, but slightly jealous and just wanting to break free from here as well. Patience, I guess.

  • Revel: 11:11 on 11/11/11, kinda cool. Bottoms up!

  • pablo .raw

    Rant: I am a war veteran from another country and another war. Basically I was drafted (it was obligatory) to fight a military (the contras) that was backed by the United States, and now I am a United States citizen!
    Rant: No day off for me.
    Rave: My band playing a big party tonight!

  • Rant: I hate it when people use ‘Happy’ in conjunction with Veteran’s Day (and Memorial Day for that matter). Its a day to honor the fallen. Also, I prefer to still call it Armistice Day.

  • Rave: Amorini Panini makes a great breakfast sandwich, and a decent cup of coffee!

  • Rant: My neighbor bought a new wind chime and it kept me up all night! Ahhhhhhhh.

    Rave: It’s Friday and tomorrow I leave for a week long vacation in the Caribbean. Adios, DC!

  • claire

    Rant: Didn’t make it out to the PoP anniversary party last night – pretty bummed!

    Rave: Productivity on my day off. Already knocked some things off my to-do list and going to make my way through some more.

  • Rant: Came upon a minivan on fire in the parking lot at Mozart and Columbia behind my house last night

    Rave: Fire fighters got there in 2 minutes and saved myself and my neighbors from having to evacuate

    Rant: Still don’t know why the fire started, hoping it was just a fluke

  • Want to get my boyfriend a gift certificate for a massage. Anyone know a decently manly place that he’ll feel comfortable in?

  • Rant: Shockingly, I’ve got nothing at the moment.

    Rave: PoP 5 year anniversary party last night! Looking forward to future PoP happy hours.

  • Rave: After 10 long months of unemployment, I have a great new job! And so far, so good!

    Rant: After completing everything for today, I have nothing to do for the last hour.

    Rant.2: No Facebook and no YouTube make Sarah something-something…

  • Rant: I’m putting this here because its on the ranty side but has been on my mind. If you sign up for the military these days, you are making a choice of profession. Whatever happens to you, however unfortunate, is directly related to your choice. While I wish harm on no one, I see no more need to “thank” people who have chosen to join the military than to “thank” people who have chosen to become race car drivers, astronauts, or chimney sweeps. As I’m writing this, my partner is jokingly telling me that “the troops are the reason that you can rant.” This is to me an obviously specious argument as, for example, the people who chose to enlist and fight in Iraq have no bearing on my free speech.

  • I’m a veteran, and I agree with this rant 100%.

    There are lots of threats to our freedoms out there. But the overwhelming majority are non-military (e.g. corporately owned Congressmen, the Drug “War”, shrinking middle class, etc), and none of them justify our gigantic military-industrial complex.

    The dirty little secret is that the US military is primarily a pork-barrel spending program, secondarily a tool to advance US economic interests, and ultimately does very little to “protect our freedoms.”

    If I heard fewer people say “thank you for your service” (a catch-phrase popularized by right-wing talk-radio shows in the 90s, which ruins it for me right there) and “support our troops”, and I instead heard more people talking about taking back their government from the rich campaign donors, I’d be a lot happier.

  • Rave: Stumbled upon the Notre Dame marching band giving a concert on the capitol steps this morning. They sounded and looked great.

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