Afternoon Commentary

Jack Dunn

I glanced at yesterday’s sports page and was riveted. There are two stories, neither of them good, about the Big Ten and another story about how cross-country track is beginning to out-draw football in some of the smaller Nebraska towns. Maybe families are becoming concerned about Traumatic Brain Injury. And large, rich institutions seem to be in more and more trouble (see the next comment).


The Roman Catholic church can’t seem to catch a break. There has been a steady drip-drip-drip of scandal for more than 10 years now. Every few months things come to light that paint the church as a sick institution – although I have to admit it may not be much sicker than many other human institutions. It’s just that celibacy and community respect used to provide a perfect cover. Many of today’s scandals were common knowledge to those of us who followed the inner workings of the church from years ago. The difference now I attribute to what I call “the revenge of the women’s movement”. With the advent of the Pill and other effective means of contraception meant to be used by women, women began to gain much greater strength and voice. There were enough survivors of familial childhood sexual abuse beginning to fight back that a whole phalanx of lawyers were trained and ready when allegations of child sexual abuse started spilling over into the sacristy.


I had wondered a number of years ago why there was such an intense push for a constitutional amendment to allow public-private partnerships. Now I get it. Public-private partnerships are a way to further remove the public from government. You can incur 120 million dollar bond obligations without having to go through the messy process of a public vote. And besides, to paraphrase Ben Gray, “what does the public know? We are their elected representatives and we know best.”


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