College Admissions: US scandal 2019, affordability, rights, socio-economics, crime, common sense

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  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    I wonder if someone should look at how Betsy DeVos got into Calvin College in Michigan. Just saying....
  • Oh please do! Oh it would be wonderful to get some dirt on that woman.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    I'm just glad the authorities are cracking down on this. After all, if the rich get away with using bribe money to get their kids into college, the next thing you know the rich will be paying doctors to give their children medical exemptions to get out of military service! And then where would we be?!?!??!
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    I wonder if someone should look at how Betsy DeVos got into Calvin College in Michigan. Just saying....
    It has an admittance rate of 74%. I suspect that it wasn't too difficult to get the grades needed to get in given she would have had the best education money could buy. Her mother was a Calvin College graduate which means Mrs. DeVos was a legacy so likely had priority to get in.

  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    I wonder if someone should look at how Betsy DeVos got into Calvin College in Michigan. Just saying....
    It has an admittance rate of 74%.
    More important, it has an acceptance rate of 83%.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    IOW, it's likely Our Betsy is every bit as thick as her public utterances make her out to be.
  • As this NYT article (behind a paywall, at least if you've read over a certain amount of articles on that site per month) explains, parents, especially in schools with more affluent students and when the students are young, are expected to do a lot of their students' homework in a don't-ask-don't-tell way. I certainly experienced this growing up.

    This gives tremendous advantage to students whose parents can afford the time and resources to help them. It is unfair to parents who have to work nights or at multiple jobs. And, frankly, a lot of the "creative" at-home projects assigned are pretty absurd. Even if, as in the article, parents can advocate for their kids so that the assignments are more realistic in terms of what the students can actually complete on their own, many poorer parents and ones who have very limiting work schedules have a much harder time engaging in such advocacy than their more affluent counterparts.

    A friend, currently a sessional at a southern US university, tells me that she can always nail the parent-written essay. Those who have learned to use keyboards in recent years single-space after a full stop; those who learned earlier (I am a case in point) double-space. While initially tempted to 0-score those essays, she instead turns a gimlet eye to them. She admits that almost none of the parent-written essays are plagiarized and some of them are quite good. Students, challenged, usually admit their parent's participation. She has turned to short papers written in class, by hand, for some of her marking and has on occasion had students break down, unable to complete the assignment.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    A friend, currently a sessional at a southern US university, tells me that she can always nail the parent-written essay. Those who have learned to use keyboards in recent years single-space after a full stop; those who learned earlier (I am a case in point) double-space. While initially tempted to 0-score those essays, she instead turns a gimlet eye to them. She admits that almost none of the parent-written essays are plagiarized and some of them are quite good. Students, challenged, usually admit their parent's participation. She has turned to short papers written in class, by hand, for some of her marking and has on occasion had students break down, unable to complete the assignment.

    Yep. I've not only had to resort to more in-class writing, I've had to clamp down on the "I-haven't-quite-finished-may-I-email-it-to-you-tonight" and "I'm-not-happy-with-it-yet" ploys by constructing assignments that can readily be completed in, say, 30 minutes within a 2-hour class.

  • Ohher wrote: »
    IOW, it's likely Our Betsy is every bit as thick as her public utterances make her out to be.
    I do feel some need to say that I’ve known several Calvin College grads over the years. None are anything like Betsy DeVos, either in brains or in political or educational philosophy.

    Given that Calvin has historically drawn from (and seen itself as serving) a very specific and relatively small demographic, I think it’s possible to attribute the high acceptance rate to factors other than low standards.

  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Given that Calvin has historically drawn from (and seen itself as serving) a very specific and relatively small demographic...

    A phrase that perfectly describes DeVos herself. I might note that, for many people, the point of getting a higher education is to expose oneself to a broad range of people and ideas. DeVos has spent her career ensuring that those who wish to remain insular may do so. That is precisely why she is so ill-suited to the position she now occupies.
  • tclune wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Given that Calvin has historically drawn from (and seen itself as serving) a very specific and relatively small demographic...

    A phrase that perfectly describes DeVos herself.
    Fair enough. Fortunately, I haven’t encountered a similar mindset from other Calvin grads.

  • RussRuss Shipmate
    A friend, currently a sessional at a southern US university, tells me that she can always nail the parent-written essay.

    The "helping with homework" continues at university level ?
    !?

    In schools, I tend to blame the educational doctrine which has replaced teaching (imparting skills and knowledge) with the notion of encouraging students to display their inner potential and creativity.

    But I guess these days each level of the education system is having to compensate for the deficiencies of the level(s) before.
    Those who have learned to use keyboards in recent years single-space after a full stop; those who learned earlier (I am a case in point) double-space.

    Me too. As someone who was there when the school got its first computer...
  • Helicopter parenting has a long history. I guess we are at the stage where parents are also college educated. That wasn't the case in Australia in the 1980's, where so many of my generation were the first in their family to attend. Free education courtesy of the Whitlam Govt helped in that process.
  • It's a bit of a tangent, but I heard that the man overseeing my son LL's Eagle Scout project (director at the bird sanctuary) was vastly impressed because he didn't ONCE get a call or email from me, nor did I participate in any of their meetings. It was all up to LL. Apparently a lot of other parents hover over their late teens.

    It's weird to live in a time when butting out makes me feel like a neglectful parent, even though I know it's the right thing to do and our family ends up being commended for it. I don't think my parents ever felt the pressure to do stuff for me. If they did, they hid it well.
  • Just saw this:


    "Felicity Huffman Pleads Guilty in College Admissions Scam: 'I Accept Full Responsibility'" (PopSugar).


    The article has excerpts from her public statement. I don't know whether she or lawyers or PR folks crafted it. But IMHO it's perfect.

    Will be interesting to hear what Lori Loughlin, another actress and defendant, does. I recently saw an article comparing FH and LL, and their handling of their legal situation. (tl;dr) During the time covered, FH wore fairly plain clothes, and looked appropriately serious and quiet. LL went the opposite route, looked happy, and signed autographs.

    An article linked to on that page pointed out that FH's character don "Desperate Housewives" also bribed a school to get her kid in.

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    edited April 2019
    Several of the parents took a plea bargain and plead guilty. They are facing jail from four to ten months.

    Other parents refused to take the offer and they are now facing additional charges including conspiracy to money laundering which carries up to 20 years in prison.

    https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/lori-loughlin-faces-new-charge-of-money-laundering-in-college-admissions-scheme-184411886.html

  • Yup. I'm not a lawyer. But if you're in that horrible situation, and you're guilty, and you know you're guilty, and you accept responsibility, and you can't quickly work out something better, then taking a deal like the first group did seems wise.

    I've seen article titles on Yahoo saying that LL never thought she'd get more than a slap on the wrist.

    What an awful mess.
    (votive)
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    It is not just Lori Loughlin and her husband that are facing these extra charges. There are others that will be facing them too.

    What gets me is that these people think because they are rich and famous they are above the law.
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    It is not just Lori Loughlin and her husband that are facing these extra charges. There are others that will be facing them too.

    What gets me is that these people think because they are rich and famous they are above the law.
    The tax evasion stuff seems genuinely criminal. The rest of the stuff is unseemly in the extreme, but it isn't clear to me that, e.g., bribing a private school coach for a non-academic admission spot is a criminal offence. Of course, IANAL. Nonetheless, it seems more like violating company policy than breaking a law. Not everything that is disgustingly low is (or even should be) unlawful. And, if all such things were unlawful, academia would be a hotbed of organized crime.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    What gets me is that these people think because they are rich and famous they are above the law.

    To be fair, that belief may be justified given the workings of the American justice system. How many of the very rich people who committed outright fraud in the run-up to the financial crisis of 2008 ever saw the inside of a court room, much less a jail cell?
    tclune wrote: »
    The tax evasion stuff seems genuinely criminal. The rest of the stuff is unseemly in the extreme, but it isn't clear to me that, e.g., bribing a private school coach for a non-academic admission spot is a criminal offence. Of course, IANAL. Nonetheless, it seems more like violating company policy than breaking a law. Not everything that is disgustingly low is (or even should be) unlawful. And, if all such things were unlawful, academia would be a hotbed of organized crime.

    IANAL either, but as I observed earlier the organized nature of the bribery ring would seem to qualify as racketeering. Possibly fraud as well for institutions that rely on accreditation and accept federal money (including in the form of tuition paid through federally guaranteed student loans), though that would be more about the colleges than the parents.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Several of the parents took a plea bargain and plead guilty. They are facing jail from four to ten months.

    Other parents refused to take the offer and they are now facing additional charges including conspiracy to money laundering which carries up to 20 years in prison.

    https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/lori-loughlin-faces-new-charge-of-money-laundering-in-college-admissions-scheme-184411886.html

    That sentencing disparity doesn’t seem like justice, but then I am massively prejudiced against plea bargains. Prosecutors can threaten, and then you have no idea of people taking plea bargains are guilty or just browbeaten.
  • The kids of these bribery people will have their careers forever tarnished. Regardless of their abilities.

    I thought this must have also been written by the Onion [one parent] is going to yoga and pilates and seeing friends for lunch,’ a source said. ‘She is very faith-based, and she knows her faith will get her through this.’

    Lunch, faith, and yoga. "very faith based" VFB being WTF
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    but it isn't clear to me that, e.g., bribing a private school coach for a non-academic admission spot is a criminal offence

    Under American rules all sports participants are students first and athletes second, When a student gets in because of a bribe that means a more deserving student who has better athletic skills is denied. The sizes of all athletic teams are strickly controlled as well.
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    but it isn't clear to me that, e.g., bribing a private school coach for a non-academic admission spot is a criminal offence

    Under American rules all sports participants are students first and athletes second,
    A truly odd assertion when the whole point of these set-asides is to admit athletes who are academically unfit for admission otherwise. True, it is expanding the hypocrisy to use the set-aside for someone who is neither academically nor athletically qualified. But getting outraged that the corrupt system has been gamed seems a tad precious...
  • Re LL's faith:

    Yeah, I heard about that, too. But her faith was never identified. So it could be any religion, or her own spirituality that she's worked out. Doesn't *necessarily* mean that yoga is her faith, or her only faith.
  • Yoga was originally, like meditation, part of a system of religious practice anyway.
  • Lori Loughlin, her husband, and a bunch of other suspects who didn't take the original plea deal (which Felicity Huffman and others *did* take) have pleaded "not guilty". Reportedly, Lori could get 20 years in prison. (IIRC, the powers that be have added mail fraud and other charges.)

    Reportedly, Felicity (if she does any time at all) would probably only do a few months' time. IANAL, but I suspect that Felicity and the other plea deal folks made the wiser choice.

    I wish everyone involved had gotten wise much sooner, and not done any of this in the first place.
    (votive)
  • How the hell is bribing someone not a crime? It is absolutely and unhesitatingly an offence to bribe someone in Victoria. So says my wife, who while a family lawyer, works in an office where criminal lawyers are king and get all the plumb jobs. My wife is not like me. I guess and bullshit. Her default answer is "I don't know". Her secondary position is, "don't ask me."
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    How the hell is bribing someone not a crime? It is absolutely and unhesitatingly an offence to bribe someone in Victoria.
    My suspicion is that your assertion is either a tautology or it is false. If you reserve the term bribery for criminal enticement, then of course bribery is a crime. However, the question then becomes what it takes to make enticement criminal. Certainly, offering a government official money to fail to do his/her sworn duty would be a likely candidate for the term. Offering your child a quarter to behave in church? Not so much. Giving a coach of a backwater sport in a private institution money to include your unathletic kid on the team? Perhaps grounds for the coach's dismissal from the institution, but not obviously a criminal act -- at least to me. But any of these scenarios can be called bribery, at least in the casual sense of the term.
  • We have broad-based anti-corruption bodies over here. They are not as broad as we would like but they do tend to keep people relatively honest. There have been quite a few prosecutions. They tend to focus on corruption in Government and quasi-government institutions, which includes most tertiary educational institutions in Australia. I'm not sure if it also can catch organisations who take government money to provide a service such as in the aged care industry.

    In the private sector there is a provision which makes it an offence for an agent to take a bribe in respect of actions the agent is taking on behalf of a principal. I haven't gone beyond the bare words of the provision but that might catch a private sector employee like your coach.

    I'd lock the kid and parent up for that sort of conduct. You're corrupting them very young in America. :smiley:
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    tclune wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    How the hell is bribing someone not a crime? It is absolutely and unhesitatingly an offence to bribe someone in Victoria.
    My suspicion is that your assertion is either a tautology or it is false. If you reserve the term bribery for criminal enticement, then of course bribery is a crime. However, the question then becomes what it takes to make enticement criminal. Certainly, offering a government official money to fail to do his/her sworn duty would be a likely candidate for the term. Offering your child a quarter to behave in church? Not so much. Giving a coach of a backwater sport in a private institution money to include your unathletic kid on the team? Perhaps grounds for the coach's dismissal from the institution, but not obviously a criminal act -- at least to me. But any of these scenarios can be called bribery, at least in the casual sense of the term.

    What "backwater" sport are you referring to? All the sports listed are Olympic sports--may mean nothing to you, but it is real to the athletes.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I'd lock the kid and parent up for that sort of conduct. You're corrupting them very young in America. :smiley:

    One of the worst facts about this scandal is that apparently a lot of the students didn't know this was going on. All they knew was that they had somehow gotten admitted to a prestigious college. For them this is a double whammy; you find out that your parent is a crook and that you never really earned your spot at the university.
  • yeah that would be tough. But tclune was bribing his kid to attend church. Terrible stuff :tongue:
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    The difference between bribing a kid to attend church and bribing an administrator or coach to get someone admitted to a college has to do with some other more deserving individual from obtaining the college position.
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    The difference between bribing a kid to attend church and bribing an administrator or coach to get someone admitted to a college has to do with some other more deserving individual from obtaining the college position.

    Right. A deserving dumb athlete was preempted from a seat at higher education by an undeserving dumb couch potato. Oh, the humanity, oh, the horror!

    I will readily acknowledge that there was a stench to the actions of these parents. Will you acknowledge that the hyperventilating about it is a bit OTT?
  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    In the private sector there is a provision which makes it an offence for an agent to take a bribe in respect of actions the agent is taking on behalf of a principal. I haven't gone beyond the bare words of the provision but that might catch a private sector employee like your coach.

    So buying the coach a new car to get your kid listed on the team is bribery, but buying the university a new building to get your kid admitted is standard business practice?

    It's different from the coach's point of view - he's betraying his employer by taking money to act against his employer's interests. But it's not really different from the parent's point of view.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited April 2019
    So buying the coach a new car to get your kid listed on the team is bribery, but buying the university a new building to get your kid admitted is standard business practice?

    It's different from the coach's point of view - he's betraying his employer by taking money to act against his employer's interests. But it's not really different from the parent's point of view.

    It's all moot in Australia. The example doesn't hold because nobody gives a fig about college sports and all but a few of our tertiary institutions are public. You could donate to them I suppose, and people do I think, but its more about publicity and recruitment of graduates. So for instance I think the national commercial law firms have started to sponsor things in law schools in an attempt to woo the brightest graduates. That's new, like it didn't happen in the 1980's. There just isn't the same philanthropic culture here, and university education is heavily subsidized for domestic students. If you want to get a dumb local into law school, there are limited full-fee places I understand. You might have to go through some sort of selection process. I'm not sure.

    I agree with what you say about the parents and coach in the last bit. I was talking about the coach's criminal liability because that was an eyebrow-raiser for me in tclune's post above.

    tclune, please forgive me if I have you wrong, but I'm going to go off at you. One of the issues I see in America is just how accepting of corruption the place seems to be. I will remain staggered to my dying day that Trump even got on the ticket as a Republican, given his ethics in business. I think that shows appalling judgement by millions of people. I think a big part of this is that people don't regard dancing with illegality, or having criminal associations as deeply problematic. They just see Trump as a winner, and they want some of his magic. The way that elections are conducted in your country is simply outrageous in some places. The key example from the last election is the conduct of Brian Kemp, who even though a candidate for Governor saw no difficulty at all in overseeing the conduct of the election. At least Jeff Sessions had the good grace to step aside when he saw that he was in a conflicted condition. Multiple examples of irregularities in the design of electoral boundaries in the placement of polling booths and in other matters exist just from the last election. This is outrageous. We dispose of politicians or severely damage them if they refuse to go at much lesser offences. I have used examples from the Republican side so far, but I am sure there are many stories of Democratic corruption. One I know of is this: Bob fucking Menendez. He survived a corruption charge by the skin of his teeth: a hung jury followed by the justice dept dropping the charges. He should have never got Democratic endorsement for his senate seat at the last election and he should never have been elected. It just wouldn't have happened here. A challenger would have been organised and he would have been moved on. His corruption taints the Party. I don't care about the trial, that bloke should have got a rubber necklace, metaphoric of course.

    So, has everyone involved in this sorry saga been charged? They should be. And the book should be thrown at them. And then a good hard look needs to be taken at your political and business classes and they need to be sorted too. Because if you don't clean yourselves up, ordinary Americans are toast, and your democracy will wither. The two go together of course.

  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    So, has everyone involved in this sorry saga been charged? They should be. And the book should be thrown at them. And then a good hard look needs to be taken at your political and business classes and they need to be sorted too. Because if you don't clean yourselves up, ordinary Americans are toast, and your democracy will wither. The two go together of course.
    I can appreciate the sentiment, and have often felt the same way. However, our democracy began in corruption and has scarce moved from there. The first congress of the new republic was marked by scandal -- the congressmen sent agents throughout the new states buying up war bonds for pennies on the dollar. Ordinary people knew that they were worthless, and had bought them out of patriotism only. Once the congress had essentially cornered the market on the worthless paper, they voted to redeem them at face value. The people who supported the revolutionary war were twice burned for their commitment to the cause and our political class was enriched.
    OTOH, I have a hard time believing that we are uniquely foul. The Church has been a cesspool of corruption since Constantine. While it makes me despair for the triumph of virtue, it does give me some small comfort to see how long we can continue without facing our just rewards.
  • Is there any other country in the world where universities both public and private, world-class research institutions and less-academically distinguished ones, rely on athletic programs to generate a large part of their income, prestige, and appeal to potential students (including students who do not intend to even pretend to be athletes)?
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    I know, it's crazy isn't it? The hallowed halls and ivy walls of our institutions of higher learning are filled with a constant chatter about frat parties and sports.

    I can only guess it stems from the way the schools pander to the alumni, another big source of money. I have cousins and friends who went to West Virginia University. They all did well in life, one is a state attorney general, one writes books. They're all old, in their seventies now, and you would think they had moved on to other interests, but they live for that school's sports, paying for the very best seats and season tickets, going to every last game in all sorts of weather. I'm sure there's a big mention in their wills. Go figure.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Is there any other country in the world where universities both public and private, world-class research institutions and less-academically distinguished ones, rely on athletic programs to generate a large part of their income, prestige, and appeal to potential students (including students who do not intend to even pretend to be athletes)?

    I'm pretty sure that Harvard isn't relying on the Crimson's ticket sales to support their institution.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    Is there any other country in the world where universities both public and private, world-class research institutions and less-academically distinguished ones, rely on athletic programs to generate a large part of their income, prestige, and appeal to potential students (including students who do not intend to even pretend to be athletes)?

    I'm pretty sure that Harvard isn't relying on the Crimson's ticket sales to support their institution.

    This is less true of Harvard and similar institutions than it is of sports powerhouse universities whose televised games attract an audience comparable to or larger than that of professional sports teams, but even at Harvard, the athletic program attracts the attention of alumni, encourages them to come back to visit the campus, and thereby probably leads to larger donations from them. Harvard has lots of other sources of income, of course, but alumni contributions still matter a lot - especially since many alumni are quite well off - and powerful alumni are able to help the school in ways other than direct personal financial contributions. Yes, it's less than at other schools, but legacy families from Harvard and elsewhere still dress their kids in Harvard gear from a young age - and this gear represents the school's athletics in addition to the school in general. The athletic programs build a shared identity that helps make alumni more loyal to the school. This is true of university sports worldwide - I am sure, but it is true to a much bigger degree in this country than anywhere else I can think of.

    Also, Harvard games don't just sell tickets - they still are considered significant enough to be broadcast nationally, even if their audience is smaller than that for Notre Dame, Alabama, Duke, USC, et al. I'm not sure how much money Harvard gets via the NCAA from the broadcast licensing and advertising - and again, Harvard is flush regardless - but the publicity from having Division I teams means that they remain in the public eye for more than just academic prowess and mega-powerful alumni. University branding as a business matters more and more as schools compete for students nationally and worldwide (and international students pay full tuition and therefore are also an important source of income). In the US, athletics are a huge part of the way schools market themselves. It's less true for Harvard - which is for many people worldwide the only US university that they can name - but it certainly is true for other schools in the US that want to be on the radar of students and families in other states and countries.
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    Virginia Tech has a very large athletic program. I used to think it was a poor allocation of resources, but I learned a few facts that changed my mind. First, the athletic department pays for itself. Second, it means that people all over the country have heard of Tech. It makes it much easier to recruit faculty and students.

    Tech has outstanding agriculture and engineering schools. Tech scientist were involved in the cloning of Dolly the sheep, and the engineering school helped develop drones. (One of the first uses of drones was to have them fly low over crop fields taking pictures to see whether there were any problems.

    Virginia Tech is in the boonies. If it weren't for the sports programs far fewer people would have heard of it.
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Moo wrote: »
    Virginia Tech is in the boonies. If it weren't for the sports programs far fewer people would have heard of it.
    Not to worry: As long as their students keep shooting each other VT will have high name recognition.
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    tclune wrote: »
    Moo wrote: »
    Virginia Tech is in the boonies. If it weren't for the sports programs far fewer people would have heard of it.
    Not to worry: As long as their students keep shooting each other VT will have high name recognition.

    One mentally ill student shot and killed twenty-seven students and five faculty members twelve years ago. This is not "shooting each other". There have been no other shootings.

    I have toyed with the idea of calling you to Hell over this.

  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    Here is a newspaper article that tells how people feel twelve years later.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    There's also the fact that "shooting each other" is hardly limited to VT. This, um, pastime is quite widespread in the US.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Because none of the admitted students involved in this scandal seem to be expected to participate in athletic programs at their colleges, despite filling athletic admissions slots, I made a thread for discussing the merits and drawbacks of American college athletics. It seemed to be an area of some interest, yet not all that relevant to this particular thread.
  • tclune wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    So, has everyone involved in this sorry saga been charged? They should be. And the book should be thrown at them. And then a good hard look needs to be taken at your political and business classes and they need to be sorted too. Because if you don't clean yourselves up, ordinary Americans are toast, and your democracy will wither. The two go together of course.
    I can appreciate the sentiment, and have often felt the same way. However, our democracy began in corruption and has scarce moved from there. The first congress of the new republic was marked by scandal -- the congressmen sent agents throughout the new states buying up war bonds for pennies on the dollar. Ordinary people knew that they were worthless, and had bought them out of patriotism only. Once the congress had essentially cornered the market on the worthless paper, they voted to redeem them at face value. The people who supported the revolutionary war were twice burned for their commitment to the cause and our political class was enriched.
    OTOH, I have a hard time believing that we are uniquely foul. The Church has been a cesspool of corruption since Constantine. While it makes me despair for the triumph of virtue, it does give me some small comfort to see how long we can continue without facing our just rewards.

    Are you really saying that because America was corrupt at its foundation it is not worth fighting? And no, you are not the worst. But do you really want to be like Brazil, or in-the-news Sri Lanka?
  • There's some things apparently money cannot buy. It appeals to my sense of schadenfreude and the justice to watch them fall. These moneyed people can buy protection from other inmates quite easily, and hopefully they do productive things like teach other prisoners how to act so as to help fellow their jailbirds get parole no doubt.

    The thing is, anyone could see that paying your child's way on to a sports team is inappropriate, at least at the level of unethical and immoral. That it is also illegal is rather nice actually. I felt the hypocrisy astoundingof one of these rich people saying that their faith is going to sustain them through it all. And I suppose if they'd prayed at all at the time they set up the bribery it was thank-you to "their Jesus" (ain't my Jesus) for giving them the strategy to deceive and act in evil? In the future, these people will probably given televised interviews on religious shows about it all, uplifting to their fellow beliebers.
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