Last week it was reported that high profile US celebrities Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, right, as well as other filthy-rich parents, were charged with committing fraud following an investigation into a so-called college admissions ‘scam’. Apparently the ‘scam’ in this case was a highly successful and lucrative one, netting the ‘fixer’ – or, as the US media are calling him, the ‘mastermind’ – a staggering $24m between 2011 and 2018.
These parents allegeded to have paid tens of thousands of dollars to a guy who arranged ‘for someone to take the SATs/ACTs’ for their children or to ‘set up fake profiles to have them recruited to college athletics teams’. Now, for those who’re scratching their heads, the SATs/ACTs are entrance exams used by almost all colleges/universities in the US to make their admissions decisions, and, the higher a student scores, the more options are open to them.
While this train wreck is the type of scandal deserving of an entire episode of Desperate Housewives, (the show that catapulted Huffman to fame), it’s also an egregious example of the inequalities present between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ in today’s society, and I for one am glad these shady practices have been laid bare. Now don’t get me wrong folks, we all have a desire, (and a duty) to give our children as much of a leg up and as much help as we possibly can; however, unlike as it alleged in this scenario, the majority of us are aware of the ethical line that must never be crossed, and we would never, for example, consider offering examiners a bribe, or scandalously have others pose as our own kids and take their tests for them.
Now readers, I’ll be the first to hold my hand up and say that I have, (on several occasions), been guilty of buying a few fairy cakes in the local supermarket, unpacked and, er, roughed them up a bit, before popping them onto a plate and wrapping them in tinfoil to be presented at the school’s annual fundraising bake-sale, passing them off as being ‘wholesome and home-made’ in order to impress the principal (and not embarrass my poor child). But that could hardly be construed as bribery or indeed as taking advantage of some corruptible middleman’s greed in order to engage in a dubious admissions strategy…could it?
I mean, while I’m not a bad cook, (he-who-licks-the-pattern-off-his-plate will vouch for that), I do know my limits, and my baking skills, which don’t stretch to elaborate fairy cakes, cupcakes, sponge cakes, scones (you get my drift) would most certainly constitute a breach of any school’s health and safety regulations...meaning my motto is, if at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence you’ve ever tried in the first place and head to the shops! You see, despite the fact darling daughters’ notes home would clearly state that any simple offering would be gratefully received, the thing is readers, there was always some judgy, domestic goddess, Mary Berry wannabe type who was capable of concocting not one, but numerous batches of delectable masterpieces, all beautifully presented in packaging she’d crocheted from old crisp bags and bits of baby grows she’d recycled during the hours she hadn’t been out organising marches and designing banners for Greenpeace! Make ya sick! And, it’s not like I was jealous or anything, nooooo way; it’s just I hated show-offs who believed the way to the head nun’s heart was to turn up with a raspberry butter-layered creation displaying the image of the shroud of Turin when I can’t even follow a simple recipe!
Look, I can fully understand the desperation felt by some parents when trying to secure a future for their kids. I can fully relate to that; sure it’s normal…but to allegedly bribe your child’s way into a college is wrong on so many levels. In my opinion readers, while it’s one thing to joke about your inadequacies as a parent and screwing up your kid’s future, it’s quite another to actually do it…allegedly! Kinda makes my ‘home-baked’ fairy cake hoax seem perfectly innocent!
Leo did fair to middlin’ on St Patrick’s Day junket
Our Leo, right, (whom, it must be said, historically tends to get a tad giddy when he goes foreign and represents Ireland on the world stage), seemed to be doin’ fair to middlin’ during the annual diddly-eye St. Patrick’s Day junket to the US.
Between the tin whistles, the shamrock, the bodhrans and the hornpipes, An Taoiseach not only became firm friends with The Donald, (God help us), he cleverly went on the charm offensive and totally won over so-called Christian conservative, vice-president Mike Pence, a macho man who (allegedly) has some very un-Christian like views on LGBT issues.
However, it was Leo’s dissing of MMA fighter Conor McGregor – who was invited to march alongside our country’s leader in the Chicago parade – that impressed me the most. I mean, why would organisers invite someone with so many anger management issues and legal troubles, (isn’t this latest incident McGregor’s second felony charge in under a year?), to walk alongside and effectively upstage our Taoiseach?! Now okay, I know McGregor, like a lot of us Dubliners, never had the advantages Leo had, nor did he receive an education at a posh prat college; and while I will always stand up for my fellow ‘how’er’ya’ Dubs, an arrogant individual, prone to, let’s say, thuggish behaviour, is not and never will be a suitable ambassador for our country, or indeed, a role model for her youth!
We must never allow embryonic hatred to win
Hate breeds hate, and this callous and brutal massacre of innocent people, no matter what their creed, colour or ethnicity, has got to stop. My heart is broken for the families, friends and loved ones of those murdered and injured in last week’s shocking Christchurch mosque terror attacks. However, having a broken heart and sending good thoughts is never going to be enough to soothe the unbearable horror that befell those Muslim families who innocently and peacefully went to meet, worship and pray together as a community.
As a nation, sadly, we have first-hand experience of this type of embryonic hatred; we know what it’s like when some bitter and twisted terrorist goes on a homicidal rampage, hell-bent on carrying out acts of butchery and carnage. For this, and many more reasons, I know the good people of Roscommon will not only join nations around the world in sending our heartfelt condolences to all those who have been affected as they try to deal with what will be the traumatic aftermath – we will also stand side by side in solidarity with them.