Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Straight Edge Sandusky?

high school photo of Jerry Sandusky(High school photo of Jerry Sandusky)

Following up on my recent post asking about the possible role of Jerry Sandusky's father, Art Sandusky, in Jerry becoming a child molester, the Washington, Pennsylvania Observer-Reporter has posted new articles in a "Sunday Xtra" relating to Jerry's upbringing in that small town in southwestern Pennsylvania.

This, no doubt, is one of the most difficult stories the Observer Reporter has ever had to handle. Its a locally owned paper, not a part of one of the community newspaper syndicates, and there will be big pressures to not "stain" the town with this story, I am sure. These are pressures that Sara Ganim, a young crack reporter at the Harrisburg Patriot-News, who is getting rave reviews for her investigative reporting on the Sandusky scandal, doesn't have to cope with.

The most interesting recent Observer-Reporter story, Childhood friends wonder if they really knew Jerry Sandusky, speaks to numerous people who knew Jerry growing up, and notes the following nugget about Jerry's upbringing:

His friends say if there is one thing that seems odd, in retrospect, it might be this: Sandusky never dated in high school.

Those close to Sandusky remarked that the popular and handsome athlete was shy around girls and people outside of his circle of friends.

"Jerry was always kind of a loner," recalled Riggle. "He never dated in high school, and he didn't date throughout most of college. All he did was study in college. He didn't go out, didn't go to frat parties, while I was out doing things you were supposed to do as a college kid. It didn't seem odd at the time, but I remember in high school, we all had girlfriends, dated, went to dances, and Jerry was just never a part of that."

In fact, Sandusky always seemed to befriend those who were mentally challenged or who had a hard time making friends. It was a lesson, he wrote in his book, that he learned from his parents: "They taught me the meaning of respect to all people."
Well, being shy around girls and not dating is one thing. But what the article implies to me, but is completely silent on, is that Jerry Sandusky really had no interest in girls. As a star athlete and not unattractive guy, there's no question Jerry could have been dating if he wanted to. I also think that if Jerry expressed that he had interests in girls to his childhood friends, this would have come out in the article. There is no evidence that Jerry ever "dated" any woman other than his wife, Dottie, whose relationship appears to have been cultivated by Jerry's mother. So, the evidence to date suggests to me (not surprisingly) that Jerry Sandusky has never been sexually attracted to women.

Skimming the surface of some research, it appears that the causes of pedophilia are really that not well understood, though molestation as a child is considered to be a risk factor. Hypothesizing any link between homosexuality and pedophilia appears to be highly controversial, and I cannot pretend to understand the scientific and political debates about this without further inquiry. Logically, being homosexual has no connection to being sexually attracted to pre-pubescent children. But if sexual oppression can be a risk factor for pedophilia, even if Jerry was not molested as a child himself, and he found himself to be homosexual in a time and place where homosexuality was an abomination--as no doubt it was in Washington, Pennsylvania in the 1950s and 60s--could his repression have contributed to his development into a pedophile? There is a common sense appeal to that inquiry to me. It could be perhaps the most crazed argument in favor of gay marriage (i.e., if you're in the Clint Eastwood school on gay marriage, like me), but repression has consequences.

That being said, since I've done lots of speculation, I suppose its possible that Jerry Sandusky was just magically born as a pedophile. Maybe that's the way it works. Maybe he wasn't molested as a child, maybe he's not homosexual. But generally speaking, there are causes for the bad things that happen in the world, and not looking for them doesn't help.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pizza Is Not A Fuckin' Vegetable

See "Does Pizza Deserve To Be A Vegetable?" (Talking Points Memo, November 18, 2011)


Pizza is not a fuckin' vegetable. Sure, I like pizza, my kids like pizza, but we don't confuse it with asparagus. The truth is that huge packaged food companies want to sell as much of their shit food to schools as possible, they don't care if kids get obese, in fact its the mission of these corporations to maximize profit, which means selling as much of their shit food as possible. They'd get pizza classified as a dessert, as a vitamin, as a fuckin' chichuahua if would sell more pizzas. If giving major $$ to congressmen will get that result, they will do it. That doesn't mean educators and Congress need to say "Sure, some concentrated tomato sauce mixed with sugar is a vegetable if you say so."


via reddit:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Miss Gross Becomes Bride of Gerald A. Sandusky

Miss Gross Becomes Bride of Gerald A. Sandusky (Washington Observer-Reporter, September 14, 1966)

Happened to run across this, its an article about Jerry Sandusky's marriage in 1966. At least its a more flattering picture of Dottie Sandusky than the recent one I saw. No revelations, though I suppose all the names in here are potential investigation witnesses.


Is Anyone Asking Whether Art Sandusky Was A Child Molester Too?

Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky has been serially molesting young boys for perhaps in excess of 30 years. The whole thing was covered up and not stopped by those who could have stopped it. It is one of the most disturbing news revelations of the year, and certainly one of the worst connected to college sports of all time.

In hindsight, most everything you read about what Sandusky did was creepy -- founding a charity in 1977 called "Second Mile" to ostensibly help disadvantaged local youth, he would shower gifts on certain young boys and take them to football games, slowly progressing if he could from touching them on the leg in the car to anally raping them in the shower. I'm not kidding -- go to the source and read the recent indictment -- its only 23 pages, you'll be best informed on this story if you just read it instead of news reports about what it says. Its a nightmare.

(From a Jerry Sandusky instructional video, completely unnecessary touching.)

One thing that intrigues me, and this is certain to be deeply probed soon in the press, is how Jerry Sandusky became a child molester. Was he molested himself as a child? That is not uncommon in child molester cases. As detailed in his 2001 autobiography "Touched", Sandusky's parents Art and Evie also ran a program for youths in Washington, Pennsylania. In fact, the family lived in the building--the Brownson House--where the program was run for many years. Art instituted football programs and a huge junior wrestling program. Wrestling? "We were just wrestling!" was one of Jerry's excuses when others happened across some of his unusual behavior, and its one of the few sports where an adult coach can arguably claim a legitimate reason to be physically close to a young person as a part of "coaching."

And yes, you have noticed, Jerry Sandusky's autobiography is called "Touched". In fact, how many children he "touched" through his charity seems to be the term of choice he used for many years to describe his work. The term is used about his parents' work too, as in this 1982 editorial in the Washington, PA paper, talking about how they "touched" the lives of thousands--the creepy detectors are going off for me again. It may be nothing, but someone better be looking into this. I am not saying Art Sandusky was a child molester--but its a logical investigative question that I hope is being asked. I don't feel right not putting the question out there, even though its an incendiary question. Is "Ol' Art rolling over in his grave" about the revelations about Jerry? Art and Evie moved to State College, PA to 'consult' on Second Mile in 1987, and Art did not die until 1996, during which time we are to assume Jerry was busy molesting kids.

1982 editorial about Art:Photobucket

What turned Jerry Sandusky into a monster? A parent, a family member, someone in the community? He self-reports being very shy and awkward as a child. I suspect we'll find out what happened. And it won't be pretty.

Update 1:22 PST 11/16: This comment posted on Nov 13 on a local news affiliate story about Jerry's hometown defends Art against commenters who are speculating, like me:

"Mike – On the surface, you make a noteworthy point. The similarity is definitely notable. However, I come from a family that has had several generations who participated at the Brownson House on a regular basis. Many of us and countless friends and acquaintances have been around Art Sandusky (unsupervised) far too many times to count. I know for certain that I never heard a single person make a negative comment about Art. Art was an angelic, hard working and kind man who kept the kids busy and cared for them deeply. I can state with confidence that Art (and the Brownson) would never allow a child to get hurt.

The Brownson House is one of the few remaining places in Washington where the local youth can interact with their peers in a competitive, positive and safe environment. As for Jerry Sandusky, the case is troubling and the apparent truth will fully be revealed. The victims, assuming something terrible had taken place, do not deserve the agony they are experiencing. Likewise, the good names of Art Sandusky and the Brownson do not deserve any undeserved, unwarranted accusations."

Not sure this is really evidence, its just his opinion.

Update 11/22 8:57am PST: New post, Straight Edge Sandusky?