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Monday, November 7, 2011

Fringeville Edition #41, November 07 2011

Is the moral compass broken in Happy Valley?

Increasingly, it appears so.

If the allegations are proven, a number of people could have/should have:

1)     Directly intervened to stop children from being sexually abused
2)     Picked up the phone to call the police
3)     Gone all the way to the Governor (and to the media) if their superiors in law enforcement or government refused to act

And the person with the most moral authority fulfilled his legal obligations and went no further.

I’ve turned this around in my head a dozen different ways. Joe Paterno may have done what was required by reporting an incident to his boss. But he was uniquely positioned to do so much more. He fell short. It is one of humanity’s recurrent themes: Our heroes often fail us. But few fail us as spectacularly as this.

JoePa is done.

In a matter of days, a lifetime of achievement and the reputation of a major university have been lost. It is modern Greek tragedy, with Paterno and Penn State undone by what would have seemed inconceivable just days ago: a broken moral compass.

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