Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Think Therefore I'm Pissed

Roger Clemens was acquitted of lying to congress about using performance enhancing drugs, Barry Bonds was given thirty days for obstruction in a similar case.  The use of performance enhancing drugs by professional athletes has become a newsy hot button in recent years, but regardless of your opinion of the practice I have only one question:

What in hell is the US congress doing in the middle of it?

This is so far out of the realm of congressional oversight as to be clownish.  Even more clownish than some of the other crap that they pull.

Maybe the secret to having a more rational society is to make congress a part time position.  Then they would have to address meaningful national situations in the short time they were assembled rather than scouting around for things to legislate, or investigate, or rant about.

It seems to me that they spend way too much time trying to legislate the moral character of the country into an arbitrary theological box while pulling back from addressing the real issue a government is responsible for: the health and wellbeing of the population.

In this country, people should not go hungry, should not be without shelter, should not be without proper health care.  In this country we should ALL pay our fair share to help an efficient, honest government provide the infrastructure we need.  And we should ALL vote to obtain such a government.

Why don't we.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Sports of Summer?

It's mid-June, a couple of months into baseball season, a season I used to care immensely about. Growing up as a Yankee fan so avid I could tell you the batting averages of every player on the team.  Losing touch with the sport during my seven years in the Air Force, I came back to baseball when I left the service, to root for a new team, the Mets.  I was a fan in sixty-nine when they pulled off the miracle and again in eighty-six, perhaps the best team they ever fielded.

My special favorite was the player who covered my position in high school and college, first base.  Keith Hernandez was, in my humble opinion, the best to ever play the position.  He was the only first baseman in the history of the game who could alter the opposing coach's offensive strategy.  It was virtually impossible to execute a successful sacrifice bunt when he was on the field.

Somewhere in the nineties, I stopped being a fan.  Not because I don't still love baseball, because I could no longer focus on a team.  Players move from team to team and league to league so often I can't keep track of who is playing where.  It's no fun for me to cheer a team on any more.  I do watch the occasional game on TV, and I will go to minor league and college games when I have the opportunity, because I still love the beauty and finess of the sport.

I started this muse thinking about pro sports, particularly the overlap.  There's no clean break anymore - end of football - beginning of basketball, which ends before baseball, etc.  I exclude hockey because I just never got into the game.

Anyway, here we are two months into baseball season and also in the midst of the NBA basketball finals - in June?  Gimme a break!  I think the Hockey season ended last week also.  Is there anything more absurd than ice hockey in June?  Pro seasons are way too long - with playoff schedules almost as long as the regular season and half the teams in the league eligible for them.

Maybe I'm just getting old.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Walmart Steak? Where does one harvest it?

At least that's what their latest bizarre ad campaign seems to indicate.  Folks at a high class resort are fed steaks that they rave about and are then told "It's a Walmart steak!"  At which point they all rave about it some more, and at least one person decides to buy Walmart steaks.

I've heard of beef steaks, venison steaks, buffalo steaks, and even salmon steaks.  But a Walmart steak?  How does one butcher a Walmart?  Are they domesticated or do you hunt them?

Segway there to explore my second question.  Hunting (actually I think they are more often called 'Sporting') columns of  newspapers use the word "harvest" when referring to a successful hunt.  A euphemism like that deserves to be quashed, or at least ridiculed.  A new young hunter shown beside the kill is said to have "harvested" his or her first deer, turkey, whatever.  Clearly the intent here is to remove the word "kill" from the reader's vocabulary.  Please understand that I am not opposed to killing animals for food; what I object to is masking the act behind a word implying less finality.  It attempts to hide the fact that, in order to feed ourselves and others we have taken a life.  When we do that, it is only right that we acknowledge the act as what it is, a kill.