An old news item but one that really made me grind my teeth. It involved the young man, 19-year-old Timothy Piazza, who was allowed, yes, allowed, to die in that hazing incident at Penn State a number of weeks ago. How tragically stupid such hazing is. When I was a young pledge at the U. of South Dakota many many years ago, all the fraternities called it Hell Week even though it lasted only 72 hours. ONLY 72 hours? It was an exercise in sadism that for 72 hours allowed fraternity members to demean, humiliate, and torture the new pledges, supposedly to separate the wheat from the chaff. Those who could survive would become full brothers in the bond. Those who couldn’t were dropped like sacks of garbage. I won’t go into any of the details, but I would have to guess that many of the unmentionable activities I went through were the same as those at the Beta Theta Pi house. The excessive, forced consumption of alcohol is the only thing their pledges had to do that I didn’t. And it killed him. His blood alcohol level when he was found on the edge of death was between .26 and .36. The legal limit for blood alcohol is .08. That’s a rather astonishing difference. But it was the nearly total lack of humanity demonstrated by too many of the fraternity brothers that was especially awful. He fell down a flight of stairs and was then ignored for the next twelve or so hours. Nobody checked to see if he was all right. No one called 911. They just pretended he wasn’t there. Until it was too late. Fraternal organizations are a fine way for young people to become accepted on college campuses, but there was no need then nor is there any need now for the kind of hazing that’s still allowed.
Then there’s our president, Donald Trump. He’s been in office for just over four months and the man just can’t keep his mouth shut, can’t keep one or the other or both feet out of that open mouth. He’s demonstrated over and over again that he’s way too far over his head in the depths of Presidential requirements. London bookies are indicating that the odds of his being impeached are almost up to even. More on that in posts to come.