Overheard on CNN.com: Readers buzz about FAMU hazing allegations
FAMU drum major Robert Champion died after a November 19 football game, following a suspected hazing incident.
December 14th, 2011
08:42 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers buzz about FAMU hazing allegations

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Here are five stories people were talking about today; this is far from an exhaustive list. College sports and other groups are under a lot of scrutiny right now, as evidenced by today's sex-abuse allegations roundup. But one of the biggest talkers today is at Florida A&M University, where the school's community is reeling from the unexplained death of a drum major.

Authorities said Wednesday their investigation has uncovered possible fraud at the school. The suspected fraud is not directly related to the death of Robert Champion, authorities say.

1. Probe into Florida A&M death uncovers possible 'financial irregularities'

This ongoing story has shocked readers, who couldn't believe that a marching band would have hazing, or that any member could die as a result of being a member. Many commenters thought student rituals were going too far, and a few questioned what was going on in the administration.

Defense2: "One thing leads to another. If a university can 'look the other way' when beatings are taking place in the form of 'hazing', then expect far worse blindness in more sublime categories of abuse."

UncleT9: "President Ammons says: 'One of the things that we have found with hazing is that there is a veil of secrecy. This is a culture, not just here at Florida A&M University. It's on college and university campuses all across America.' Deconstruct this: 1) It was kept secret from me (so not my fault). 2) It not a FAMU problem, but a national problem (so I can't do anything about it). Does anyone think this is leadership?"

2. Alleged cyberplot points to Venezuela, Iran, documentary says

A Univision documentary alleges that Venezuela and Iran plotted attacks on U.S. websites. Officials from the United States say they are not aware of this incident, but find the documentary "disturbing." Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has called the report "lies." This story has sparked some very interesting discussion about whether Latin America poses a problem for U.S. national security in the future.

jracforr: "'Latin Nationalism' inspired by Venezuela will be America's greatest problem for the coming century. Illegal immigration and Americas dominance of it's southern neighbors will ignite a social revolution never before seen in North America. We are just now seeing the beginning of this trend which will have far reaching consequences, yet this topic is not even raised in our political debates.

columella2: "No. I am Latiin and emigrated over 42 years ago to Canada. My daughters both speak perfect Spanish but are first and foremost Canadian (English being the first language of the younger, French of the older). I and many like me left latinamerica exactly because we were fed and tired of their recurrent social revolutions and upheavals. We would certainly not like to see it repeated in our new countries of choice. And this has been the history of immigrants to the US and Canda. Irish, Poles, Jews, Italians, etc., were all feared as the vanguard of great social reevolutions and upheaval. They are all now part of the establishment. And so am I. PERIOD. ... By the way, most Latin Americans do not like Hugo very much. Resembles too much the previous series of dictators, right or left, that ruined their countries in the '70s and '80s. Lula - with a much more moderate style - has left a better impression."

3. BLITZER'S BLOG: If Obama is anti-big business, why has Wall Street done so well?

CNN's Wolf Blitzer asks in this blog post, "If President Obama’s policies have been so anti-big business, why has Wall Street done so well since he took office?" Responses were mostly split between those agreeing and disagreeing with Blitzer's stance, but more seemed to agree.

Greg, Ontario: "Now that's the Wolf we all know and trust. Actually pointing out the facts with no real negative or positive spin. To debate the point the problem is with the banks. Their state or viability is actually an illusion with the back up reserves in the Fed that they can draw on. Ron Paul has been telling you for years about this Fed printing money and why it's so wrong."

Frank: "Come on, Wolf. There are systemic corrective factors at work that have zero to do with the White House. Equity markets are resilient in spite of President Obam's efforts to talk down the financial establishment. He came to office knowing little of the factors that marshal private capital or how investors think. Correlation and causality are quite different."

4. 3 keys to rational holiday spending

Suze Orman offered tips for keeping spending in control during the holidays, and readers offered witty and insightful comments in return.

try2evolve: "The key to smart holiday shopping is not shopping for adults. Buy the kids some toys and call it a day. What adult really needs another item they would never buy themselves?"

Binky42: "Since when was Christmas only about toys for kids? I like getting toys now. My husband could pick me up anything from ThinkGeek and I'd be happy."

5. Jesus toasters selling briskly

For $31.95, you don’t have to wait for a miracle to see Jesus on your daily bread. Look no further than the Jesus Toaster. We enjoyed the comments that appeared.

will: "Damned, beat to the punch again. What will I do with all these judas waffle irons now?"

Ancient Curse: "If you eat a Jesus sandwich, does it come back up three days later?"

Christian Faith: "I think that anything that is not belittling that can promote our remembrance of Jesus is just fine. The spirit of Jesus Christ is alive in the hearts of many of us, and I would be happy to see his image on a piece of jelly toast each and every morning. Nevertheless, this item will not be on my must-have list, either now or later."

What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Rick Barre

    Why are they hurting federal goverment workers by not giving them raises they need..Why don't they cut the senate pay.They get free insuarance and anything else they can get...The workers need there money to pay there bills and provide for the families...This outrages to do this to the workers.

    December 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    Ummm...I think the Jesus toaster is a little strange...but then the Catholics eat a wafer that is the "Body of Christ", so who am *I* to judge?

    December 15, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. Gold Dragon

    LOL @ banasy. And the catholics wash it down with blood wine.

    December 15, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    @Gold Dragon:
    Don't I know it!

    How are you doing, young lady? Are you getting along ok?
    I've had you in my thoughts often.

    December 15, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. Gold Dragon

    @ banasy – I have good days and bad days, but don't we all. Thanks for asking though.
    Trying to get into the holiday spirit and looking forward to New Years. Planning on a positive 2012.

    December 15, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. Vicki Renee Feacher

    If, Mr. Anderson thinks that a one sided argument is good reporting than my days of watching his program are coming to a close. Making a suggestion to close a program for few & not the majority is "dumb". It's like saying all blacks drop out of school, do drugs, live in the project, come from one parent homes....etc.... Now, should suggest that since two white coaches have be accused of modlesting boys than their must me more..... Yes, that is really stupid of me to suggest such a thing. Please allow someone else to have their opinions heard (singular) ... I'm really sick of people pushing their books.

    December 15, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |