March 14th, 2005

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12:31 am - 1KWFFH: on strikes, steroids, senatorial investigation of the national pasttime...
I kind of intended to go to bed early tonight (honestly, its still early for me now at 12:30). But then I saw a story on the news and it kind of struck me and I just had to write 1000 words of free flowing hostility.

So I’m watching the news and they run a story talking about how Congress is subpoenaing Mark Maguire, Jose Conseco, Sammy Sosa and other former and current baseball players to testify next week about steroids. Apparently Congress has decided that the steroid issues that are “plaguing” the MLB these days are a, and I quote here, “national health crisis.” Please, allow me to be the first one to come out and scream really loud “WHAT THE FUCK!?!” I’m sorry but this is so Jay-Zawful wrong on so many fucking levels.

Ok, just for a second let’s ignore any issues of morality of drug usage. Lets just look at scale. AIDS is a national health crisis. Cancer is a national health crisis. The fucking flu is a national health crisis. Let’s just assume for a moment that we can unilaterally agree that drugs are bad and that they constitute a health problem even on par with disease or lack of healthcare. Ok, then maybe I’d grant you that say marijuana or crack or even steroid use in general was a national health problem. But there are about 293,027,571 people in this country, and at most, steroid use in the MLB affects 732 of us. I’m sorry, .0002498% of the population just ain’t a national health crisis. And that’s if every single MLB player was using. Let’s say it’s one in ten. Then that means we’re worried about fewer people than the 90 that are killed by bolts of lightning in this country every year. Lets form a congressional committee to investigate God. Clearly he’s a national health crisis. (Notice how I used God, that one time and not Jay-Z? HOVA would not kill you with a bolt from the blue. He’d kill you with his vicious flow. That or he’d just bust a cap in yo’ ass.)

Ok, but back to the real issue, why the fuck do we even care what these 732 people are injecting into their bodies. You know why I watch baseball? To entertain me. That’s why I watch all sports. I like sitting back and drinking a beer and watching people run around for my amusement while I cheer them on like monkeys. It makes me feel like a better person. And you know what, if it means the Indians win the pennant then I don’t care if we fucking bathe them in gamma rays. Hell, where’s the congressional hearing on people selling their souls to the devil?

I’m pretty much on record with my feelings on victimless crime. I want drugs to be legal. I want prostitution to be legal. I want shooting yourself in the head to be legal. Not because I have some burning desire to shoot up, pay to get laid and then blow my fucking brains out. But more because I just don’t care if other people do. I mean, sure, someone dies. It sucks. But the way I see it, I’m a taxpayer. In fact, I just paid my taxes a few hours ago. And as such, I feel that I am the boss of congress. And since they work for me, they should be taking care of the things that are important to me. And since I am now CEO of the United States, I gotta say, I think that our firm’s new corporate vision should be maximizing profit. I don’t care about steroids in the MLB. What I want to know is how we can go and do a hostile takeover of a nation sitting on a gazillion gallons of oil and gasoline prices went up. How much is petrol? Two dollars a gallon? Fuck this machine! Congress is so fired.

Now I will say that I also don’t have a problem with the MLB banning steroids. If they want to police that themselves, then more power to them. The way I see it, its no different then having rules against a corked bat or a pitcher filing a ball. But congress doesn’t investigate those things because it's none of congress's damn concern.

Who decides what’s a performance enhancing drug anyway? How come steroids count and vitamins don’t? People like to say that steroids are illegal because they give one player an unfair advantage over the other. No they don’t. The other player is welcome to take performance-enhancing drugs too. How come we don’t complain that one player working out more than the other gives him an unfair advantage? I mean, I get it with NASCAR. NASCAR uses stock vehicles. They go out of their way to make sure it’s all just the driving skill. No one gets any advantage. But baseball, football, the marathon, curling, synchronized swimming. These are all sports where people train and control every aspect from the diets they ingest to the types of shoes they where all looking for the advantage over the competitor. Shave off that extra second, jump that extra inch, throw a little farther. That’s the entire point. They’re supposed to be able to do things better than the other guy. That’s why we watch!

They don’t do that in other jobs. I don’t get fined for using a better computer than the other programmers. An airline pilot doesn’t get arrested for getting LASIK. Models don’t have to testify before congress for getting boob jobs. Performance enhancement is usually a good thing. A lot of people will say “but drugs are dangerous.” “Something could go wrong.” Well fine, but it's a personal choice. You could bleed out in a boob job surgery. Bad LASIK and you could go blind. And uh, well, I guess my faster laptop could overheat and render me sterile. And isn’t that the same major risk that steroids are supposed to pose? So there's the lesson, kids. Don’t do steroids. Because if you do you might end up the MLB making millions but having to testify before congress. Instead, become a programmer, get a laptop and burn your dick off. The More You Know!

Current Mood: [mood icon] sleepy

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1KWFFH: on strikes, steroids, senatorial investigation of the national pasttime... - graffiti.maverick

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[User Picture]From: sui66iy Date: March 13th, 2005 - 10:26 pm (Link)
I think the argument generally goes that MLB provides role models, or at least sets the performance standard, so kids are naturally going to performance-enhance as well. If you also accept the premise that steroids are bad (or at least ought to be controlled), then you see how MLB drug use could escalate into a problem for everyone. Now, you could say that either of my premises is full of shit (or, if not, that it's still an unimportant problem compared to your gaz-guzzling), but I don't think it's quite the same as Congress regulating corked bats.
From: nckd Date: March 14th, 2005 - 02:37 am (Link)
It's not true that the only real side effect of steroids is decreased fertility -- they've been shown to cause tumors, liver problems, heart problems, and various psychological problems. That's just the steroids themselves, and many steroid users take a number of other drugs to deal with the side effects which have negative effects of their own.

You can not give a shit if major league sports are played only by people willing to risk an early death for brief popularity. I don't really feel that way. Does it deserve a congressional investigation? I don't know - they investigate a lot of things, and I don't think anything short of a congressional investigation is going to get to the bottom of things.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 14th, 2005 - 06:18 am (Link)
Sorry if I was unclear. I wasn't really trying to make a case that steroids were safe. Or that they were not. I didn't really get into any side-effects at all til the last paragraph, and then I only centered on the sterility one because it opened me up for my closing dick joke. Suffice it to say, many drugs, legal and illegal have many harmful side-effects.

I have no problem with Congress inveestigating the side-effects of drugs or alcohol or beef or nutrisweet or saturated fats on people. Or more precisely, I have no problem with the FDA. But this isn't about protecting the American people from a harmful substance, it essentially boils down to the federal legislature (not even a court) investigating a single particular company, and a small one at that, the MLB Players Association. 732 members. That's it. And I'm fairly certain they aren't all "guilty." On the other hand, I'm betting that there are more than 732 people at CMU (a relatively small college) that take or have taken illegal drugs. Certainly more than that have been guilty of underaged drinking. My feelings on whether drug use should be a crime or not aside, that's just too small a sample of the population for me to care about. And its certainly too small a sample for Congress to care about. Social Security, Public Health Care, Reproductive Rigths, War in Iraq, No Child Left Behind, Fighting Terrorism, Homosexual Marriage, pretty much any discussion point that either side brought up during the last election cycle seems to me to be more worthy of congressional discussion time than the drug use among major league baseball players. Steroids are illegal, fine. Have the cops arrest Barry Bonds. But I don't see any reason for Congress to step in to this particular case.
[User Picture]From: danitapgh Date: March 15th, 2005 - 07:25 pm (Link)
While I don't actually approve of my tax dollars being spent this way, I see the opportunity cost as one I'm willing to pay. I am quite happy that they aren't busy with starting another war to acquire another oil rich nation. I am happy they are not trying to amend the constitution to ban gay marriage. I am glad that they have this distraction. Maybe they should talk about what color uniforms the Astros should really have for the rest of the year... However, I think this is just the calm before Rehnquist steps down and they get to taunt the Democrats with the judicial nomination process....

[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 15th, 2005 - 09:06 pm (Link)
geeze dana, I count on you to be the wide eyed optimistic one. Bitter pessimism is my job.

I don't know. To me, its better that congress talk about actual issues, even when they arrive at opinions I don't like than that they talk about non-issues that they don't and shouldn't have any real control over. At least when government is working poorly, I can believe that one day it may work well. I don't like when its just spinning its wheels uselessly.

And really, there are plenty of issues that congress could be deciding that do matter that are being ignored. Heck, even with your issues, they could be discussing them and hopefully coming to the conclusions you like.

Or, you know... we could just go invade France. GO FREEDOM!
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 14th, 2005 - 06:01 am (Link)
good points. The role model issues did occur to me, but I didn't really get into them, as I figured to really go off on that tangent would have taken me well over my 1000 words.

anyway, it depends on which of your premises we think are full of shit. If we're going the role model argument, then I think that its exactly the same as the corking bats issue. If we're going with the "roids are bad" argument, then I think you may have a point. That said, I still think that the investigation of this as a baseball issue as opposed to a war on drugs issue is stupid. I don't think any reasonable person would consider baseball players to be the "most looked up to" role models in the country. If they were really trying to do that, then they should have picked football. Or they should have ignored the "sport" requirement altogether and gone after drug users in Hollywood or the music community. But even then, I'd have a problem with it. The laws job is not to tightly control the behavior of role models. Its to control the behavior of the population at large. What's the most that can even come out of this? A law that says MLB players (not even baseball players, MLB players) can't use steroids? A constitutional ammedment? It's just sillyness to me to have federal tax payer dollars wasted on the regulation of 732 individuals in this country who at worst are only hurting themselves. Smoking is bad for you. Actors are role models? Should there be congressional hearings on whether or not actors should be allowed to smoke? Some people would probably support that. I tend to consider those people kooks.
From: wooble Date: March 14th, 2005 - 04:40 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 14th, 2005 - 06:23 am (Link)
Ok, I'll grant that you have a point there. I hadn't considered that one. But then I agree with you. The answer is that the MLB doesn't really deserve the anti-trust exemption. I also agree with you that no one in congress really cares, which is what makes this seem like an even bigger waste of my all important tax dollars.

Only thing I really notice here is that you referenced hockey. There is no hockey. Let it go. ;-)
From: wooble Date: March 15th, 2005 - 11:43 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 15th, 2005 - 03:15 pm (Link)
dude, you should watch more C-SPAN this baseball congressional hearing might be right up your alley.
From: wooble Date: March 15th, 2005 - 05:06 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 15th, 2005 - 08:56 pm (Link)
and if congress stepped in to mediate in the NHL situation that would suddenly be interesting. :-)

Wow, congress would be so much more interesting if you could like cross check someone out of a filibuster.
[User Picture]From: jasongory Date: March 14th, 2005 - 05:01 am (Link)
ahahh that was an awsome Rant.

[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 14th, 2005 - 06:23 am (Link)
From: dcalle Date: March 14th, 2005 - 08:28 am (Link)
Wow, one of my other LJ friends just posted something very like one of your 1000 words of free-flowing hostility on the meaning of life. I'm feeling very ranted at now. :-)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 14th, 2005 - 09:23 am (Link)
yeah, she did a pretty good job. I responded. But what do you mean my rants are mundane. They're... ok, they're kinda mundane... but that hurts. :-) anyway, let her know she's free to comment here as well. I'm always amazed at the opinions of people I don't actually know.

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