Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Caught your attention, didn't I?  Well, surprise; this isn't really about sex.  More on that in a bit.

I can think of one very good thing this Wednesday morning.  We won't have to suffer through those absolutely awful ads and robocalls any longer.  At least for this go 'round.

I'm sort of surprised at the state wide results of voting Tuesday.  Question 1 to keep same day voter registration passed by an absolutely huge margin.  It did prove that big outside money (one man contributed over 285-thousand dollars to the campaign) can still buy elections in Maine.  That same person had contributed huge amounts in the districts' House of Representative race last year.  Mischief at the polls will continue.  Now I'll hope the results will lead to the requirement for voter I.D. at the polls.

Both gambling questions, #2 to allow racinos in Biddeford and Calais, and #3 to allow a full blown casino in Lewiston, were both defeated by rather surprisingly large margins.  One website for the "No on One" campaign also proved something in Maine:  Dirty politics are alive and well.  That said, I'm not unhappy over the gambling defeat, although I have been privately wavering on my feelings since I got an email from my Fearless Friend.  He pointed out that such projects should be allowed to rise and fall on their own business decision.  I'd add as long as public money wasn't involved.  I thought, though, the Yes on One folk had done a good job sticking to their jobs point and it would prevail.

The fourth question, the one changing the state redistricting date in the state's Constitution, passed easily.  That was a "no brainer."

The Cumberland County Civic Center was an ill-conceived project from day one.  To renovate it at tax payers' expense is still ill-conceived, but renovate it they will.  I've always believed that those who benefit from an establishment should pay for it.  Since I would still have to pay to attend events there, I'm paying double...through my taxes and my entrance fee.  We were told the Civic Center brings millions of dollars to downtown Portland.  If so, then downtown Portland businesses should be paying for it.

As I write this this morning, we're still awaiting the results and comments about Portland's new attempt at voting using a ranking procedure.

BUT...I also said I hoped at least half the state's registered voters would turn out.  That wish fell far short.  So, once again, I'm not satisfied we truly have full winners and losers.  Me?  I was three for four on the statewide questions.  As far as I'm concerned (except in Scarborough where more than 50% of registered voters cast votes) no one can claim mandates resulting from this election because of the less than 30% turnout.

Now, sex.  I think I'm a little saddened about what's happening to the Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.  I can't, right off the top of my head, remember a time when JoePa wasn't the PSU coach.  I probably should as it was in my adult lifetime, but he has been such an icon, such a role model, that he has been in Happy Valley for 46 years.  And now, apparently through no fault of his own, the end of his career might be at hand. 

Reports out of Pennsylvania say the support for Papa Joe Board is eroding.  The president of the university might also be heading for the guillotine.  And it's all because a former assistant coach has been accused of sexual improprieties with underage boys.  That assistant gave up his position in 1999 but has had access to PSU, including his own office, since. 

Why is Paterno now being targeted?  Perhaps is as simple as his becoming a scapegoat.  According to the reports, Paterno first learned of the impropriety in 2002 when a then  assistent reported a scene he viewed in a shower.  The now accused assistant was, according to the report, involved in improper activity with a young boy.

Paterno followed procedure, PA state law, and his good sense to report the incident to his superior.  He had simply done what he not only should have done but also what he was supposed to do.  If today's reports are accurate, his failure in the incident was not following through.  When he was called before a Grand Jury, he apparently answered all their questions to be best of his ability.

When the arrests began over the weekend, JoePa's efforts perhaps were simply not enough.

"Sources," according to the reports, say that Paterno's exodus from Penn State may be imminent, perhaps within a day or two or a week.  Perhaps even before you read these thoughts.

Do I know any of the facts surrounding all this?  Heck, no!  You've read here many times that all I know is what the news media wants me to know, and I've been around too many years, in fact involved in the news media for many of them, to accept all I read as fact.  So I'm not judging Joe Paterno here;  I'm just trying to express my sadness that a legendary career probably will come to an end over these events. 

He should have done more say some of his detractors.  From only what I've read, he followed the rules.  What else is there?

And Citizen Cain's accusers seem to continue to come out of the woodwork.  Like I've said, I only know what the news media wants me to know so I won't comment on those accusations.  From what we have seen, there seems to be a similarity among the accusers.  Their timing is rather interesting.  By the way, Cain is not at the top of my list of Republican preferred candidates.

I do have an inkling just how both JoePa and Herman Cain feel right now.  Someone very near and dear to me has been in a similar situation.  Fortunately for him, his accuser admitted to the police she was just trying to punish him for a perceived sleight.  His episode ended very quickly with no repercussions.  I'm afraid Mr. Paterno and Mr. Cain won't have the same outcome.

One final puzzle for this mid week:  What's with all the conference changes in college football?  I can appreciate that all the schools want to be where the big TV money is, like in the SEC, Big 10, PAC whatever it is now, etc.  But some of the real or probable changes simply don't make any sense.  Boise State in the Big East, for example.  Boise State will eat all and probably more of its share in travel alone.  I guess they are east of some place, like the Pacific Ocean.  First the changes in bowl and championship selections now a total screwing up of long established conferences.  And why is all this happening?  $$$$$$$$$!


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