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July 17, 2012

Boy Scouts double down on homophobia

I know a lot of people who were or are Boy Scouts and they are uniformly good people who speak very highly of their times as scouts. It's really a shame that the organization feels that the same experience should be denied kids who happen to be gay. Boy Scouts of America Uphold Gay Ban
The Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday announced that it will uphold its existing ban that excludes gays, something the group said was "absolutely the best policy" for the group. The Associated Press reports the decision comes after a confidential two-year review and rules out any changes despite the growing chorus of critics who had pressed to end the ban. The 11-member special committee's decision was unanimous, and will effectively stop action on a resolution recently submitted to the board asking the organization to reconsider the rule. The policy was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2000. Here's the organization's policy on LGBT participation in the Scouts: "While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA." In a June statement, they added, "Scouting believes same-sex attraction should be introduced and discussed outside of its program with parents, caregivers, or spiritual advisers, at the appropriate time and in the right setting." . . .

July 14, 2012

When Joe Paterno learned his assistant was being investigated for raping boys, he negotiated himself an amazing retirement package

The Freeh Report--the investigation into what happened at Penn State by ex-FBI official Freeh--makes it clear at every level that when forced to choose between making money or stopping young boys from getting raped, everyone involved chose money. No hyperbole. That is what happened. The rapes were covered up so Penn State could keep winning and keep bringing in the bucks. Janitors who saw the kids getting raped knew if they told people they would get fired. And Joe Paterno, hero of Penn State, chose to remain silent about his friend and assistant raping children so he could negotiate a sweetheart retirement deal that guaranteed season tickets for his family and use of the Penn State plane for 25 years. Penn State should suffer what other schools have: their football program should be shut down for ten years. And Paterno's retirement deal should be revoked. Or AT LEAST given to the kids who were raped on his watch, in his locker room, by his assistant while he counted his money. Joe Paterno Got Richer Contract Amid Jerry Sandusky Inquiry - NYTimes.com
In January 2011, Joe Paterno learned prosecutors were investigating his longtime assistant coach Jerry Sandusky for sexually assaulting young boys. Soon, Mr. Paterno had testified before a grand jury, and the rough outlines of what would become a giant scandal had been published in a local newspaper. That same month, Mr. Paterno, the football coach at Penn State, began negotiating with his superiors to amend his contract, with the timing something of a surprise because the contract was not set to expire until the end of 2012, according to university documents and people with knowledge of the discussions. By August, Mr. Paterno and the university’s president, both of whom were by then embroiled in the Sandusky investigation, had reached an agreement. Mr. Paterno was to be paid $3 million at the end of the 2011 season if he agreed it would be his last. Interest-free loans totaling $350,000 that the university had made to Mr. Paterno over the years would be forgiven as part of the retirement package. He would also have the use of the university’s private plane and a luxury box at Beaver Stadium for him and his family to use over the next 25 years. The university’s full board of trustees was kept in the dark about the arrangement until November, when Mr. Sandusky was arrested and the contract arrangements, along with so much else at Penn State, were upended. Mr. Paterno was fired, two of the university’s top officials were indicted in connection with the scandal, and the trustees, who held Mr. Paterno’s financial fate in their hands, came under verbal assault from the coach’s angry supporters. Board members who raised questions about whether the university ought to go forward with the payments were quickly shut down, according to two people with direct knowledge of the negotiations. . . .