Saturday, October 21, 2006

Penn State Proud

Earlier this week, the Penn State propaganda portal Penn State Live proudly announced that Spanier had received the “Wings of Law” award from the authoritarian sounding Respect for Law Alliance for his contribution to national security.

This aroused my curiosity. What exactly was the Respect for Law Alliance? It turns out to be a nonprofit organization incorporated in New York and run by Arthur Gerwin a retired corporate lawyer. The idea that the organization has authoritarian proclivities is reinforced by Mr. Gerwin’s use the title General. He came by this title after spending three years of active duty in the Air Force during the early fifties. He then rose to the rank of Brigadier General while serving in the reserve. According to the group's web site the purpose of the organization surprisingly enough is to "promote and cultivate respect for law." This is achieved through holding monthly breakfasts, yearly award banquets, and junkets to places like Bermuda, which they call “offshore conferences.” Basically, Gerwin, the corporate lawyer, has found a way travel and hobnob with the rich and famous with tax free money. That shows a true respect for the law.

It would also appear that Gerwin’s strategy for bringing prestige to the organization is to give awards to prominent people. Amongst those who have received awards are Bob Schieffer , Wolf Blitzer and David Gergen. The banquets must really be something to get these folks to attend. The Respect for Law Alliance has also given Bernie Kerik an award. You can’t say they don’t have a sense of humor.

If you do a Google search for the organization’s name it will turn up the résumés of numerous lawyers and judges, most of whom are retired, in New York which list membership in the organization. My guess would be that these are friends of Mr. Gerwin or they are in it for the banquets and junkets.

So, Graham don’t let this award go to your head; Gerwin is not much more than an authoritarian self-promoter, just like you, but with a good tax dodge. Oh, I forgot Penn State has a good tax dodge too.

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