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If greeks are not elitist snobs, give me one good reason why they so carefully screen out potential members, with multiple levels of rushing?
I've been a staff member (assistant dean of students) at a private university and a faculty member at a public university. I observed many problems with unhealthy competitiveness between houses for rankings, with plagiarizing term papers, with drunken behavior and brawling, hazing and with sexual exploitation and abuse by fraternity members of female "guests" at their weekend orgies. As to sports teams and marching bands - I came across no problems with hazing or drunken behavior with students in those organizations - but with the fraternities, it was nearly every weekend. The worst was when neighboring houses would get in public drunken brawls. It's fair to say I've had plenty of experience and opportunity to observe the greek system on multiple campuses.
But hey, don't take my word for it. Here's what peer reviewed research has proven!
Sorority girls are more likely to have body image issues and dysfunctional eating behaviors than their peers. Women in sororities are more likely to have body image issues and judge themselves on physical appearances than those who did not join a sorority. According to a study in the journal Sex Roles, research showed that first-year students who went through rush had greater signs of dysfunctional eating behavior than those who did not rush, and the body image issues continued for many new members. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302112012.htm
The fraternity or sorority house is the largest on-campus venue for drinking. More students engaged in drinking at fraternity and sorority houses than any other on-campus venue or residence hall. According to the Harvard School of Public Health's College Alcohol Study, 75% of students living in fraternity and sorority houses were heavy drinkers, compared to 45% of students who lived in non-Greek housing and 35% of the overall student population. Students living off campus away from their parents and students living in fraternity or sorority houses had the highest rates of binge drinking. The amount of alcohol consumed per occasion appears to vary by setting (Harford et al., 2002b). Fraternity/sorority parties, off-campus bars, and off-campus parties were the sites of heaviest drinking. Although off-campus parties and bars were most heavily attended, a higher percentage of drinkers engaged in heavy drinking at fraternity/sorority parties
Greek members abuse prescription stimulants more than their peers. Fraternity and sorority members are more likely to abuse prescription stimulants such as Adderall, Ritalin or Dexedrine than the rest of the student population. According to a 2004 article published in the journal Addiction, white fraternity members and sorority members had the highest rate of abusing non-medical prescription stimulants. Results: The findings revealed that fraternity and sorority members reported a higher rate of nonmedical stimulant use than nonmembers. In addition, regression analyses revealed that higher ratings of anxiety, stress, internal impulsivity, and internal restlessness significantly predicted nonmedical stimulant use.http://jad.sagepub.com/content/17/2/87.abstract
Sorority members are more likely to be victims of sexual assault. Sorority members have a greater risk of being sexually assaulted in college than non-members. According to the National Institute of Justice, nearly a quarter of sexual assault victims are sorority members, whereas only 14 percent of nonvictims were sorority members. These women also face a higher risk for violence in dating relationships than other female students. http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/rape-sexual-violence/campus/Pages/increased-risk.aspx
Fraternity and sorority members suffer more alcohol-related consequences than their peers. According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, fraternities and sororities are more likely to suffer alcohol-related consequences than non-Greek students because they drink more. These consequences range from poor test performance, alcohol-related injuries, arguments, assault, property damage and sexual assault. In fact, Greek leaders and those living in a sorority or fraternity house experience the most negative consequences because of their own drinking habits and those of other students.This document discusses alcohol and other drug use by college fraternity and sorority members.
Abstract: The consequences of drinking on campus each year are 1,400 deaths from alcohol-related causes; 500,000 unintentional injuries; 600,000 assaults; and 70,000 cases of sexual assault and acquaintance rape. Fraternities and sororities are among the key groups that foster this culture of drinking on campus. Their members drink far greater amounts of alcohol, and do so more frequently than other members, setting a norm for heavy drinking. A national study on college drinking found that fraternity members were much more likely to engage in heavy drinking than their non-fraternity peers. Among women, 62.4 percent of sorority members engaged in heavy drinking, compared with 40.9 percent of other female students. Residency in a fraternity or sorority house was associated with even higher rates of heavy drinking. Fraternity and sorority-affiliated athletes are especially heavy drinkers. The largest on-campus venue for drinking is the fraternity or sorority house. Approximately 50 percent of students living in a fraternity or sorority house performed poorly on a test or project, versus about 25 percent of all students. The leaders of fraternities and sororities suffer even greater consequences than other members. One study found that 26.9 percent of fraternity leaders and 18.6 percent of sorority leaders had suffered an alcohol-related injury. Eighty-three percent of residents in a fraternity or sorority house experienced negative consequences due to other students’ drinking, such as a serious argument, assault, property damage, having to take care of a drunken student, interrupted sleep or study, an unwanted sexual advance, or sexual assault or acquaintance rape. Twenty to 25 percent of college women are victims of an attempted or completed rape during their college careers. Both the social environment of fraternities and sororities and the fact that new students that are already heavy drinkers are more likely to want to join these societies contribute to high rates of alcohol consumption. College and university prevention efforts should target these social societies by promoting alcohol- and drug-free social options; creating an environment that promotes healthy social norms; and limiting alcohol availability and access. https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/Abstract.aspx?id=203748
The environment in fraternity houses contributes to rape culture. Research suggests that fraternity house environments contribute to the problem of rape. Fraternities' group norms and attitudes toward women and sex have led to this rape culture environment. According to research from the journal Sex Roles, individual fraternity men are more likely to display objectifying images of women in their rooms, have supportive attitudes about rape and believe women want to engage in rough sexual acts even if they act disinterested.
"Our examination of men's social fraternities on college and university campuses as groups and organizations led us to conclude that fraternities are a physical and sociocultural context that encourages the sexual coercion of women. Rape is especially probable in fraternities because of the kinds of organizations they are, the kinds of members they have, the practices their members engage in, and a virtual absence of university or community oversight. Fraternities create a sociocultural context in which the use of coercion in sexual relations with women is normative and in which the mechanisms to keep this pattern of behavior in check are minimal at best and absent at worst.
Posted by Divernan | Fri Oct 10, 2014, 06:04 PM (2 replies)
Posted by Divernan | Mon Oct 6, 2014, 11:35 AM (2 replies)
This is a lengthy, fact-filled article quoting many wealthy progressive Dems who would prefer Elizabeth Warren, Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb, Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders. Why? Because HRC is too hawkish, too close to Wall Street and insufficiently aggressive on fighting climate change, income inequality and the role of money in politics. I chose excerpts re support for Warren, but there's discussion of support for the others as well.
An interesting comment on this article:
"Then what, pray tell, does Hillary have to offer the country?
Sorry, she's got NOTHING! Never has expressed an original thought or idea. Can't even say if she's running.
Somebody with a great plan for America would not be toying with the decision to run. She/he would be out there rallying America to embrace her/his ideas.
With Hillary, it's not about America, it's only about Hillary.
Go ahead - vote for her, if you think it's her "turn" & turns matter.
The rest of us have a higher standard for the high office of the presidency. "
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/10/hillary-clinton-donors-2016-elections-111622.html#ixzz3FMoDVVZr
By far the candidate who most worries Clintonites — and most excites the anybody-but-Hillary donors — is Warren, whose tough posture toward Wall Street and on reducing income inequality thrill liberal activists and donors. They’re hoping that she can be persuaded to make the race if they can demonstrate enough support for her.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/10/hillary-clinton-donors-2016-elections-111622_Page2.html#ixzz3FMnBFGEY
Posted by Divernan | Mon Oct 6, 2014, 08:34 AM (74 replies)
Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
HARRISBURG — A former agent in the attorney general's office accused of transmitting smutty emails in an unfolding pornography scandal said he suspected Attorney General Kathleen Kane was “politically motivated” in releasing them.
Gov. Tom Corbett on Friday asked Randy Feathers, his appointee to the state Board of Probation of Parole, to resign because of the sexually explicit emails. Feathers worked as an agent for Corbett when he was attorney general from 2005-2011. Kane has released more than 430 sexually explicit emails Feathers allegedly received. He also transmitted 39, according to Kane's office.
Feathers was the third official asked to resign as a result of the scandal. A Corbett cabinet secretary, Department of Environmental Protection E. Christopher Abruzzo, and a DEP lawyer, Glenn Parno, resigned Thursday before Kane released email strings to the governor and media. Both worked under Corbett in the attorney general's office.
Feathers, who is paid $115,000 on the state board, in a letter to Corbett obtained by the Trib, said he wants an independent forensics expert to review the emails. “This independent assessment will allow me to determine the accuracy of her assessment.
Read more: http://triblive.com/state/bradbumstednews/6910124-74/corbett-kane-feathers#ixzz3FC7GXmrQ
AG Kane denied political motivation, pointing out the release of these emails was in response to Right to Know Law requests by several media outlets. "We released information that we could legally release that was available at this time. There is no politics involved.”
"Smutty" is a word my grandmother would have used. I'd appreciate a grown-up, current synonym for the content of these emails, such as obscene, lascivious, vulgar, rude, crude, dirty, filthy, salacious, coarse, lewd, pornographic, and X-rated.
From the reported content of these emails, we are not talking saucy or risque. We are talking hard-core porn. They were x-rated, extremely sexist and degrading of women, including sexist, demeaning depictions of women in the workplace. So even beyond the legitimate criticisms that such viewing should not have been on state computers on state time, the fact that Randy Feathers was appointed by Corbett to sit on the state Board of Probation/Parole is not acceptable. Feathers is quoted as saying he would “consider” resigning if it's proven he did not “uphold his professional responsibilities.”
Well, he has a demonstrated, documented, degraded & demeaning view of women as appropriate targets of ridicule and sexual exploitation, and glorification of men who exploit them, as depicted in his porn photos and videos. Such a person CANNOT be objective or fair in determining the fate of men convicted of sexual crimes (pimping, raping, etc.) against women, and further, his negative attitude toward women must needs influence his decisions regarding female applicants for probation or parole.
And HE was the best that Corbett could find to appoint? Time to clean house of this nest of pervs, Pennsylvania, and the man who hired and supervised them. Remember in November.
Posted by Divernan | Sat Oct 4, 2014, 12:42 PM (10 replies)
Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
HARRISBURG — A top aide to Gov. Tom Corbett embroiled in a scandal involving sexually-explicit emails exchanged when Corbett was attorney general resigned Thursday, effective immediately, the governor's office said.
E. Christopher Abruzzo, a member of Corbett's Cabinet heading environmental regulation, was among eight men whose names Attorney General Kathleen Kane made public from an office email exchange involving pornographic photos and videos. Abruzzo was secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. He has declined comment since Kane's office showed the images to reporters last month.
Based on information Kane provided, the photos and videos from emails implicate at least eight former office employees, including Abruzzo and three others who still work for Corbett: State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan, DEP lawyer Glen Parno, and former agent Randy Feathers, who Corbett appointed to the Board of Probation and Parole.
The state Senate approved Corbett's nomination of Abruzzo as DEP secretary in December. He had been a deputy chief of staff to Corbett, and a chief deputy attorney general under Corbett.
Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6900794-74/abruzzo-corbett-department#ixzz3F11o78aP
I sincerely hope that the next Porn Daddy to resign from Corbett's administration will be the head of the State Police. And I have no doubt that Abruzzo has already been promised a job which will double his salary from one of the Big Frackers who are currently raping the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of its' natural resources without paying one frigging dollar in extraction taxes. As head of Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection, he's been double book-keeping when it comes to documenting pollution/property damage/personal injuries caused by fracking.
The porn involved was of the triple x-rated variety, and seemed to distract the good ole' boy network in Corbett's Attorney General office at the very time they could have been investigating Sandusky.
Posted by Divernan | Thu Oct 2, 2014, 03:04 PM (0 replies)
According to ABC News, Mezvinsky's downfall stemmed from an activity that has long been the subject of one of this site's most frequently-accessed articles, the ubiquitous Nigerian scam (also known as 419 fraud):
Despite being released in April 2008 after serving five years in prison, Mezvinsky remains on federal probation and still owes almost $9.4 million in restitution to his victims.
An ABC News investigation revealed that Mezvinsky, a former Democratic Congressman from Iowa, had been caught up in a series of Nigerian e-mail scams and began to steal from people to further his schemes.
"He was always looking for the home run. He was always trying to find the business deal that would make him as wealthy as all the people in his social circle," said federal prosecutor Bob Zauzmer. According to Zauzmer, Mezvinsky, who is now 72, will be on supervised release, the federal version of probation, until 2011.
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/clintons/mezvinsky.asp#c670ll7ucVVw5rKs.99
Beginning in the early 1990s Mezvinsky fell prey to a wide variety of 419 scams. According to a federal prosecutor, Mezvinsky was conned by "just about every different kind of African-based scam we’ve ever seen." In order to raise the funds needed to front the money for the fraudulent investment schemes he was being offered, Mezvinsky became, himself, a conman, tapping his network of contacts and dropping the name of the Clinton family to convince unwitting marks to give him money, “he would call and say, ‘I’m spending the weekend with the Clintons.’”.
As to his former wife, Marjorie Margolies, who just lost a primary bid to run for Congress,
she is profiled in a Politico article by a writer for Philadelphia magazine, as follows:
(Headline)Marjorie Margolies’s son married Chelsea Clinton. Is that enough to fuel her political comeback?
By SIMON VAN ZUYLEN-WOOD
December 04, 2013
There’s no question that the scandal and its messy fallout were damaging to Margolies as well. When she filed for bankruptcy, a judge rejected her assertion of ignorance in a scathing decision that, depending on how you read it, either calls her feminism into question or suggests she knows more than she’s letting on. “Her consistent response to questions asked by her creditors about the disposition of her assets is lack of knowledge or ‘my husband handled it,’ a mantra that is completely at odds with her public persona, background, and accomplishments,” the judge wrote.
Toni Goldberg defends Margolies as a career woman who was too busy to pay heed to her husband’s schemes, but she says the judge’s indictment made sense to many at the time. “Whatever decisions that were made in the marriage, their life, political life, social life—Marjorie was the head guy,” she says. “And Ed adored her. And Ed just followed.” (Margolies declined to comment on the Fenton lawsuit or the bankruptcy case.)
In 1997, several years after their first Renaissance Weekend together, Chelsea Clinton decided to attend Stanford University, where Marc was already enrolled. Rumors of romance followed. (The two officially started dating in 2005, though Goldberg says that “they kept it undercover for many years” before that. Another friend, Nancy Chasen, says that they were just “best best best friends.”) However close Chelsea and Marc were, Ed Mezvinsky tried to use their bond to his advantage. During his trial, it came out that he had tried to woo investors by touting Chelsea’s relationship with his son. “When he thought it would help,” a federal prosecutor told the New York Times.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/12/the-clinton-in-law-marjorie-margolies-100696_Page3.html#ixzz3EaUbInjd
(S)he filed for bankruptcy, but failed to receive a discharge from her debts, based on 11 U.S.C. §727(a)(5). The court found Mezvinsky had failed to satisfactorily explain a significant loss of assets in the four years prior to her bankruptcy filing. The bankruptcy judge stated, in her published opinion, "I find that the Debtor has failed to satisfactorily explain the loss of approximately $775,000 worth of assets (the difference between the $810,000 represented in May 1996 and the $35,000 now claimed in her Amended Schedule B)." Sonders v. Mezvinsky (in re Mezvinsky), 265 B.R. 681, 694 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 2001).
According to documents obtained by The Huffington Post, as Ed Mezvinsky's fraud was exposed, Margolies doubled her own salary as head of a small, largely taxpayer-funded charity into the six figures, attempted to have the charity renovate and lease a mansion in which she would live, billed the charity for her automobile lease and other expenses, and required charity staff to assist with her other responsibilities as a faculty member at a local university.
Posted by Divernan | Sun Sep 28, 2014, 02:39 AM (1 replies)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A jury in Philadelphia could not reach a verdict on theft charges against Gov. Tom Corbett’s ex-son-in-law.
Authorities say the 44-year-old took bait money from a vehicle during an FBI sting on Jan. 31, 2013. Gibson, then a narcotics officer, had been told the car belonged to a suspect.
His attorney argued at trial that Gibson planned to turn in the money at the end of shift, but was confronted by investigators before he could do so.
A judge declared a mistrial Friday after jurors couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict on counts of theft, obstruction and receiving stolen property.
Read more: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2014/09/19/mistrial-declared-for-governors-former-son-in-law/
The Judge set a new trial date for January 26th and the prosecutors have stated they WILL retry him. He was a narcotics officer; the governor's daughter, Katherine was and is a deputy attorney general for state's AG office, and was appointed to that position by the woman whom Corbett had appointed head of the Attorney General's office. She has remained with the AG's office after a Democrat was elected AG, and is most recently (August 25, 2014) reported as working on the Attorney General's Drug Strike Force Section. workinghttp://www.attorneygeneral.gov/press.aspx?id=8075
I've been wondering what happened to Gibson. He was caught by the FBI in a joint sting operation with the internal affairs unit of the Phillie police dept. back in January of 2013, suspended in February by the PD, and ordered to trial in August of 2013. News coverage currently refers to Kate Corbett Gibson as Gibson's ex-wife, or subsequently divorced, but I have found no report of a divorce per se.
Here's some background:
An FBI agent has testified that former officer Gerald Gibson, the son-in-law of Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett, took $140 in marked money from the bait car but didn’t turned it over until confronted later by the FBI agent and Philadelphia police investigators (see related story).
http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/08/13/trial-ordered-for-former-philly-cop-son-in-law-of-gov-corbett/f See also: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2013/02/02/Sting-followed-many-suspicions-about-honesty-of-Corbett-in-law/stories/201302020264
2 comments: first, the wheels of justice turn awfully damn slow in systems bogged down by massive numbers of criminal laws (the reason the US leads the world in percentages of citizens incarcerated). Guess if you're going to privatize the prisons for profits, the next step would be to privatize the judiciary. Wonder if that's on the One Percent's agenda.
Second, sounds like the FBI screwed the pooch in arresting the guy before the end of his shift. All they needed to do was wait until he'd turned in his paperwork for the day. Then he'd either have turned in the money or not.
Posted by Divernan | Sat Sep 20, 2014, 02:49 AM (0 replies)
Excerpt from column by Senator Warren on Huff Po:
Warren's HuffPo column procedes to decimate Weiner's position, chapter and verse.
I thought the deal was that Huma Abedin promised her boss, HRC to keep her husband, Anthony on the down low, i.e., out of the public eye until if & when Hillary got elected to that office for which she is not yet officially running. Did Weiner run that column past Huma/Hillary ahead of time? But here's Weiner calling Warren's criticism of the Wall Street revolving door "overblown" and "petty". Those 2 adjectives are better applied to the family jewels in the selfies Weiner posted.
Here's the link to the Business Insider web page where Weiner mouthed off. Hmmm. Perhaps Hillary & Huma are not as confident as HRC's supporters that Senator Warren will not be running for president.
Posted by Divernan | Wed Sep 17, 2014, 03:19 PM (39 replies)
PHILADELPHIA — A poll of voters likely to cast ballots in Pennsylvania's gubernatorial election shows they prefer Democrat Tom Wolf over Republican incumbent Tom Corbett by a 24-point margin.
The Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday shows Wolf, a wealthy businessman, is favored by 59 percent of likely voters compared with 35 percent for Corbett.
At least half said Wolf would do a better job handling the issues of jobs, education, government spending and taxes. Fifty-four percent said they believe Wolf is honest and trustworthy but they were tied at 43 percent over Corbett.
Quinnipiac culled the 1,161 likely voters from more than 1,500 registered voters, based on their stated intentions and voting records, in telephone interviews between Sept. 3 and 8. The sampling error margin is plus or minus 2.9
Read more: http://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/6776768-74/voters-wolf-likely#axzz3Cvs3eS9M
Hoping Corbett's unpopularity within his own party will depress GOP turnout (it definitely did in the primary) and help dems capture some state legislative seats.
Posted by Divernan | Thu Sep 11, 2014, 09:14 AM (16 replies)
Way back when that first aired, around 1962, I wrote (back then one wrote long letters to absent friends) to my former high school physics lab partner/good friend that I was disgusted by this program. She wrote back agreeing. We had gone through our teenage years watching the Golden Age of television in the 1950's: Yes the technology was primitive by today's standards, but the quality of writing, directing and acting on these programs was light years better than today's standard pap. The Beverly Hillbillies marked the strip mining of American Culture. How appropriate that the nouveau riches of the Clampets came from oil, i.e., Black Gold/Texas Tea.
Jethro from The Beverly Hillbillies seems to be the perfect role model of who the networks wanted to cater to with his "sixth-grade-educated-brain." Jethro was just smart enough to be able to read, willing to accept any media fads pushed at him, and had plenty of disposable income at hand. The perfect American television viewer.
Here are a couple of excerpts from a great article discussing the marvelous quality of the Golden Age of Television (and don't forget the underlying element of tension/excitement because these shows were brjoadcast live).
Posted by Divernan | Tue Sep 9, 2014, 06:52 PM (2 replies)