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"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

...............................................................Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

The Mitchell Report about steroids in baseball caused quite a stir this week in Prairie Country. As the home ground for Roger Maris, we’re a mite touchy about the dissing he’s received over the years from Cooperstown, despite his record of 61 in 61. So the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs was bound to catch our eye. Especially when it’s embedded enough in the culture of baseball to earn these seasons the label, even from the President, of Steroid Era.

Whether you think professional athletes are role models or overpaid entertainers, whatever it takes to win is the name of the game. And that attitude seems to permeate every corner of our country these days.

The law requires truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. But there are “technicalities.” Religion says we shouldn’t bear false witness…yet we’re told some say their followers are schooled that lying is okay to accomplish their ends. And p.r. has been swallowed up by self-serving, word-manipulating catapulted propaganda.

The media feed a steady win-at-all-costs diet of bread and circuses to their audiences. Build alliances, connive, compete with an edge…be a Survivor. Win the Great Race. Be an American Idol. Walk down the Runway without being tripped up by Auf Weidersehn.

The economy, too, has been living in the Steroid Era. Enronomics. Subprime mortgages. Rcord oil industry profits. 21st Century robber barons buying up mega media empires as Mitt Romney’s Bain Capitol is doing with Clear Channel. (And is that an oxymoron or what!)

In Prairie Country, a visionary local media family bought back the Dakota-region stations they’d sold to Clear Channel. They are champions of fair play these days, educating about community issues and global issues. Presenting spokespeople from both teams, but also callin’ hits and foul balls when spin leaves the facts behind. Salut today to the talkers at KFGO in Fargo and to the Voice of Dakota at employee-owned KNOX in Grand Forks. The more teams who lead with high standards, the more the steroiders can be consigned to the Hall of Shame.

A baseball man himself, as he’s proud to say, George Bush has led his own Steroid Era in the White House: from the election of 2000 to the lies that led us into Iraq to the crony corrupt players on his team who are working to win at all costs while tearing down the stadium, this has been administration run amok in a ‘roid rage of tearing away civil liberties; running up debt; outsourcing and mortgaging America, the home team; shifting wealth from the middle class to the haves and have-mores; lying about everything from war to peace, and leaving US in pieces in the process.

Their team “kicks sand in the umpire’s eyes,” calls foul balls like No Child Left Behind as fair, puts their own umpires in the game and dares the Progressives and Democrats to compete. They cheat to win. They lie when the truth would serve them better. They sully the game.

Maybe there’s nothing to do but stay in play until they leave, gamely stepping up to the plate for every inning, even knowing they’ve brought steroids to the game and they own the umpires. Maybe we can’t win yet. But we’ve a responsibility to call ‘em as we sees ‘em. And demand the mess be cleaned up, the cheaters kicked out. And with their passing, put an askerisk after their names. All of ‘em. In a Hall of Shame of their own making. Like the Black Sox, back in the day. We won’t forget. And we’ll vow to play better.

Because it’s all about baseball…and it’s more, far more, than just a game.


egregious said...

Really good analogy. Keep em coming.


Please continue your blogging, I agreed with and enjoyed the analogy about the roid rage of the nation.

The big Kahuna