Capitolism

Independent in All Things, Neutral in Nothing

Archive for July 2012

Penn State Football Avoids the Death Penalty

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Tough sanctions by the NCAA, but still unsatisfying. Probably no penalty would have satisfied, even the death penalty. Somehow, though, the NCAA comes off badly, perhaps because so many presidents passed the buck to Emmert.

For the football team, I still think the NCAA and the school should have: kept the statue at PSU, and team got the death penalty. Colin Cowherd of ESPN got the statue question right — keeping it would have warned PSU (and many others) not to foist godliness upon mortal, fallible men. Juxtaposing that reminder with the death penalty  — “This is the man you loved, but he helped destroy his and your football program” — would not have helped with the healing at PSU, but it would have powerfully reminded many other schools to shine cleansing daylight upon all corners of their worlds, including athletic teams.

As an aside, ‘healing’ at Penn State doesn’t matter a whit. The healing of the victims– as much as possible in this case —  does. But how silly to think that a senior at PSU, whose view of Coach Paterno has shattered and who now faces a far less boisterous last year at the school because of the penalties, needs “healing”. Ridiculous.

With regards to Paterno, the NCAA sanctions do somehow seem appropriate. For years, observers bemoaned his remaining the coach. In hindsight, those commentators appear both right and wrong. Right, because they perceived something had gone wrong. Wrong, because they worried whether Coach Paterno, as he aged, could maintain control of the program. We now know he exercised far too much control on it, and on the university at large.

Finally, I empathetically repeat my Facebook post from July 12: “Penn State Trustees: You are all pieces of shit. If you had any decency left, you’d give up your cushy, esteemed posts and let better men and women assume the mantle of leadership to restore the university’s good name.”

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Written by Russell S.

July 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Severing Community from Geography

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The traditional conception of democratic citizenship roots itself in a specific polity, and will for the foreseeable future.  Disparate political communities, each with their own form of governance and view of the human good, do not serve as a deterrent to virtuous citizenship, but in some cases serves as a boon for good citizenship.  Most people believe in national identity and attachment to it as both inevitable and desirable.  Few and far between are cosmopolitans—at least outside of the halls of liberal academia—who bemoan particularistic and provincial attachment to nation, state, or local space.  “For the vast majority of human beings,” Leon Kass writes, “life…is lived parochially and locally, embedded in a web of human relations, institutions, culture, and mores that define us and—whether we know it or not—give shape, character, and meaning to our lives.”  This idea of citizenship and its connection to community is alive and well. Read the rest of this entry »

First Trip With Col. Littleton No. 1 Saddlebag Briefcase

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Used my Col. Littleton No. 1 Saddlebag Briefcase for the first time this week, on a business trip to Louisville. I’ll post a review soon. Short version: I love it.

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Written by Russell S.

July 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm