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  • Political Theatre
    Fame have abstained for years because they no longer trust the statistics of decades worth of players If there were rules set up to establish level competition and violating those rules carries little or no penalty how can anyone know if any statistic can be trusted They can t and probably never will again Taking this idea broader how many countries trust the United States when it comes to torture The principle is the same The United States can and does talk about the evils of torturing prisoners but no one trusts our statement that we no longer do it or condone it ourselves We re big and powerful and there seem to be different rules for us and much of the rest of the world This could also be applied to nuclear power and land grabs and any of hundreds of foreign policy issues How about campaign finance The Koch brothers recently announced an 889 million fund for right wing candidates They and their allies have gutted campaign finance regulations corrupting the American electoral system in the eys of the rest of the world How many countries want to hear about clean and fair elections from a country in which so many elections are so clearly bought This is what comes from a culture in which everybody does it is code for it doesn t matter A society with that value at it s core isn t actually a society it s a collection of individuals ready and willing to screw each other over It s a world of short term thinking run amok It s a world devolving into primitive tribes fighting over dwindling resources when there s plenty to go around It s a world of looking to see what makes us different rather than looking to see what makes us the same Everybody does it might seem like it unites us like it makes us the same but only because it offers the same uncertainty and fears It really is how you play the game that counts It determines how others play the game and that determines what price you ultimately pay for playing Daniel Ward Permalink Posted at 6 17 PM Tagged nfl deflategate everybody does it short term thinking koch brothers instant gratification aggressive selfishness torture credibility trust authority Everybody Does It pt 6 Jun 12 Government Oversight What didn t we know and when didn t we want to know it This isn t meant as a snarky question It s one worth asking All of these scandals and so called scandals revealed over the past month point to a common weakness in our chosen form of government we rely on others to make decisions for us This is what we get with representative democracy This is our republic and every other one We pay others to take care of civic functions emergency management and security We pay others to teach our children and to transport us to and from work We share our lives with millions around us without even thinking We re social animals and this is how social animals survive We take it further than we think Think about experts Think about the idea of what an expert is We accept the authority of another person and the decisions made by that person because they have credentials pieces of parchment or more likely paper telling us that they know more about something than we do We like that It comforts us We take pills and perform exercises and change what we eat and when we eat because we ve accepted the authority of another person And it comforts us Politicians don t have to be experts We elect them to relieve us of our burdens just the same We demand that they solve our problems and hope with fingers tightly crossed that they don t create more And yet we expect them create more They always do don t they In that perhaps they are experts We cast our votes or we don t Too often we don t and then we complain about what we got for our lack of trouble The thing is even among themselves politicians specialize They divide into branches of government Within each division they form departments and committees and sub committees Hierarchies delegate responsibilities down chains of command Those at the top know only what they believe or want to believe they need to know to make the big decisions Oddly enough this process gives them distance the same kind of distance we desire the same distance for which we pay them We like to toss around terms like plausible deniability but what these powerful men and women do is common and no one practices plausible deniability more than we the public do We don t ask questions We don t want to know how the streets are kept safe We don t want to know where the garbage goes We don t want to know what happens at Guantanamo or black sites Think about that term for a second black sites Like black ops these are things we know are illegal things we know we don t want to know about We shroud them in darkness even as we talk about them We keep our knowledge of them at a safe distance not in the least the knowledge that every despicable thing done is done in our name So what didn t we know about NSA surveillance programs We at least suspected it it is after all the job of the NSA and always has been We at least knew the government possessed the technology and had already done it it was revealed during the Bush administration and during the Nixon and Ford administrations The spectre of it has filled hundreds of films television shows and novels so we at least could imagine it The truth so far as we can know it wasn t so different than fiction The NSA has been

    Original URL path: http://politicaltheatre.net/tagged/authority (2016-05-02)
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  • Political Theatre
    defensive selfishness corruption instant gratification wall street mlb baseball football biogenesis community proximity economics ray rice Deterrence pt 1 Feb 16 Man Up The Wells Report is out and its reception much like its contents is exactly what we expected This is to say it is exactly what the vast majority of us already knew about locker room and workplace culture There are many sadly who would take this to mean that there was no point to Ted Wells investigation at all that the report s obviousness makes it both meaningless and useless It isn t that they dispute the behavior exposed by the report far from it it may be the one thing everyone agrees on but if you notice a resistance to the idea that any of the behavior was wrong and an avowed belief that nothing can or ever will change well you probably should have expected that too They are of course wrong The very existence of any investigation and any report changes things and is itself a sign that change is already underway A few years ago before Twitter and texting what went on in the Miami Dolphins locker room and meeting rooms would have stayed behind closed doors and the behavior that occurs in so many work environments would have remained undisclosed and unchanged This to point out the obvious is the power of social media it can overcome the power of isolation Decades ago other kinds of social media chiefly television helped change a world many had convinced themselves could not and would not change Protests for civil rights and attacks against non violent protesters were broadcast across the country almost nightly These combined with radio and print journalism to draw attention to abuse and the more attention is drawn the harder abuse is to ignore We do like to ignore things It s safer at least in the short term We don t have to commit ourselves to helping others if we can keep them and their problems far away That means finding distraction something social media also helps with and finding ways to belittle the victims and their problems something both the Wells Report and reactions to it demonstrate quite well One common theme in those attempting to reject that abuse is abuse is the phrase Man up There s an obvious questioning of an admitted victim s masculinity in the phrase not too surprising in a sport with aggression and violence necessarily at its core And yet what the phrase says about those using it is equally obvious They are afraid of being seen as weak as less than equal as outsiders excluded from the safety of the group That s what a phrase like man up suggests You are alone On a team you are alone In an organization you are alone In a community you are alone No one will defend you No one has your back Fall behind we will leave you behind Any other meaning we attempt to give it is a lie one we tell ourselves as much as anyone else Here is the truth that the Wells Report exposes What was done not what happened which implies distance but what was done to Jonathan Martin and others was shameful On a team in an organization in a community they were alone So yes we knew that It was obvious It was common and ordinary and it happens all the time It was not an exception It was not isolated It was not even just about the NFL or football It was abuse in the workplace no different than abuse on the playground or abuse in the home It was no different than abuse anywhere at any time in our history All of that is true and yet none of that should belittle what was done That s why the existence of the Wells Report is so important It s why Jonathan Martin refusing to keep things in the family is so important It means we re paying attention It means we at long last are talking about bullying and writing about it and recognizing it for what it is a means to an end Bullies want control They want to hold on to what they have They are afraid of losing control because they fear that in losing control they will lose what they have This was and is what drives racism And sexism And homophobia This is what drives employers to threaten workers for attempting to form unions and this is what encourages union members in players unions and others to undermine each other This is what drives men and women to say things like Man up It means Take it It means This is the way it always has been and you can t hope to change it It means They have the power accept it It means Give up and give in There is no strength in those words There is no courage There is no victory There is no protection There is only fear and defeat and loss It takes a stronger braver man or woman to admit it Daniel Ward 1 note Permalink Posted at 4 02 PM Tagged bullying miami dolphins richie incognito jonathan martin nfl workplace abuse wells report civil rights racism social media Man Up Feb 14 Why Richie Incognito has proven to be exactly what he claims he s not a bully Incognito s Twitter rant directed at Jonathan Martin crossed the line on several levels Eric Adelson Yahoo Sports 02 13 14 1 note Permalink Posted at 5 25 PM Tagged bullying richie incognito jonathan martin nfl miami dolphins workplace abuse wells report social media Political Theatre Nov 12 Everybody Does It pt 5 There are words and phrases that stand out in conversation either for what they reveal or for what they hope to conceal Taking time to recognize these words and phrases for what they are tells us a lot about the

    Original URL path: http://politicaltheatre.net/search/jonathan+martin (2016-05-02)
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  • Political Theatre - Deterrence, pt.1
    to lose and the belief that we are part of a community This time and again is where deterrence falls apart Take for instance the problem of performance enhancing drugs PEDs in the NFL and other professional leagues Steroids and human growth hormone have transformed not only the athletes in just about every professional sport but the business models of how those sports are run and how they are marketed too For the past thirty years there s been a lot of money to be made in selling bigger gaudier flashier numbers and the bigger gaudier flashier athletes putting them up In the short term it s a party for everyone It s easy for fans team management and the athletes themselves to look past what they don t want to see That s what they short term is all about In the long term though with the public footing the bigger gaudier flashier bills for their entertainment the business models fall apart as assuredly as the aging athletes Fans balking at the ever rising costs start to connect the numbers more to the drugs and less to the athletes and they stop trusting what they re seeing That s when the money stops coming in Or threatens to The sports must either take action to protect their brand image by shaming and expelling those behaving badly or risk being tied to those publicly shamed athletes as they go down It was no accident that Major League Baseball s PED testing and punishment only began in earnest after public outrage made it necessary It was no accident that the token nature of the initial penalties had little to no effect on player behavior There was still too much money to be made for any player when measured against what he might lose And the players all but laughed at the authority of a league that had turned a blind eye for so long It was only with the Biogenesis scandal a decade after the first widespread reports of PED use that baseball took what might be considered serious measures The first attempts at reform are always for show and they always fail for that reason That s when the lessons are learned That s what it takes The minimum suspension in baseball is now what the maximum used to be In a ritual of contrition big name players have been given longer sentences than normal and those with numbers tainted by suspicion haven t been enshined in the Hall of Fame We ll see if it works Players who used PEDs are already in baseball s Hall of Fame It s something current players know all too well What then does this have to do with a man beating a woman in an elevator Quite a bit Take out PEDs replace them with domestic violence cases and other kinds of violent behavior and we see the same pattern of delays avoidance and weak attempts at deterrence We the public have

    Original URL path: http://politicaltheatre.net/post/97188104183/deterrence-pt1 (2016-05-02)
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  • Political Theatre
    may not be too far behind They have their defenders stalwart jackasses eager to put their faces in front of the cameras and attack those who dare accuse Why did they wait they ask If what these men and women did was so wrong why not accuse them when they did it These questions were asked about Hoboken s mayor Dawn Zimmer the inference being that because she is a Democrat accusing a Republican administration and waited until two other accusations had been made she must be lying she must be inventing a scandal to undermine a political opponent What does it say about the mind of someone who thinks that way who believes that a partisan conspiracy of false accusations is not only a credible defense for the accused but a natural part of politics This is the very heart of corruption It may take many forms bullying graft catastophic chemical leakage institutional cover ups of criminal behavior stolen elections but that s only because it will take whatever form we allow it That it exists at all is due to lowered and lost standards of behavior That is after all what the word means We all know which is to say like to believe that rules and laws are meant to apply equally that the standard of behavior for the highest paid and most powerful must be equal to that for the lowest paid and least powerful That is how groups survive As long as the group holds each member to a standard that preserves the welfare of the group as a whole it works When we look at corruption in local and state politics as we are seeing in New Jersey and Virginia it comes from our own lowered expectations of what that standard can be Without those lowered expectations it could not even fester let alone thrive When we look at Washington and lament at obstructionism and the dismantling of the regulations and oversight that would have prevented the Freedom Industries leak in West Virginia and that state s recent coal mining accidents and that oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico etc it is because we the people have accepted lower expectations of how those in Washington should behave just as we did with Wall Street and the mortgage industry before that It all seems so big so unmanageable so beyond us And so it thrives The sad thing is we re the lucky ones When we look at Syria and Ukraine and Egypt and South Sudan and think about the lives lost and about to be lost it is because those countries are so much more corrupt than anything we re seeing here and because we have decided that those lives are safely far away and we have our own problems at home We can t beat ourselves up too much for that We can t save everyone Only a fool tries Of course that means only a fool could succeed We spend years of our lives being urged to compromise to get along to play ball and be a team player and doing what we can not to be difficult We avoid risk and more often than not we re grateful for it Risk aversion has its place especially for those of us with obligations to others and we welcome the opportunity not to have to think That s why these stories are so important Our instinct tells us to treat Christie and McDonnell as political roadkill which is to say entertainment That they may be but we can and should look at New Jersey and Virginia and ask if that sort of thing is happening where we live and if that affects us We can look at the polution of the Ohio River and ask if our own water might be affected by that same kind of short sighted decision making We can look too at those countries devolving into civil war or already long there and ask what they have in common with each other and why those literally fighting their governments think violence will change anything What they have in common are rules and laws that do not apply equally and they cannot see a future without one lower standard for the ruling class and another higher one for themselves They see corruption It is all they can see Why they believe violence will solve anything is itself another kind of corruption Whatever hope they had at a peaceful solution has been twisted and degraded which is to say corrupted by those in power and those hoping to take their place Peaceful solutions don t happen in societies that corrupt They can t Those societies don t exist anymore That s what corruption does Daniel Ward 3 notes Permalink Posted at 9 50 PM Tagged corruption accountability politics new jersey chris christie virginia bob mcdonnell regulation oversight obstructionism abuse catholic church coverup richard nixon steroid era wall street JPMorganChase syria Egypt ukraine south sudan civil war freedom industries congress aggressive selfishness defensive selfishness west virginia Corruption Aug 20 OK Now We ll Stop This week following the bombardment of the Syrian port of Latakia by its own navy President Bashar al Assad promised to end the violence his regime has inflicted against Syrian demonstrators And then he went right on killing The Obama administration finally took a stand condemning Assad and demanding that he step down The European Union did too And still the Assad regime continues to kill its people This was of course to be expected Just as shelling a major port city with ones own navy couldn t be ignored a bunch of foreigners telling the ruler of a country to step down could only ever have one response escalation This is one of the reasons why Obama and others waited so long to address a brutal crackdown on non violent demonstrations that began in March Other countries now long since relegated to the inside pages were

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  • Political Theatre
    human growth hormone have transformed not only the athletes in just about every professional sport but the business models of how those sports are run and how they are marketed too For the past thirty years there s been a lot of money to be made in selling bigger gaudier flashier numbers and the bigger gaudier flashier athletes putting them up In the short term it s a party for everyone It s easy for fans team management and the athletes themselves to look past what they don t want to see That s what they short term is all about In the long term though with the public footing the bigger gaudier flashier bills for their entertainment the business models fall apart as assuredly as the aging athletes Fans balking at the ever rising costs start to connect the numbers more to the drugs and less to the athletes and they stop trusting what they re seeing That s when the money stops coming in Or threatens to The sports must either take action to protect their brand image by shaming and expelling those behaving badly or risk being tied to those publicly shamed athletes as they go down It was no accident that Major League Baseball s PED testing and punishment only began in earnest after public outrage made it necessary It was no accident that the token nature of the initial penalties had little to no effect on player behavior There was still too much money to be made for any player when measured against what he might lose And the players all but laughed at the authority of a league that had turned a blind eye for so long It was only with the Biogenesis scandal a decade after the first widespread reports of PED use that baseball took what might be considered serious measures The first attempts at reform are always for show and they always fail for that reason That s when the lessons are learned That s what it takes The minimum suspension in baseball is now what the maximum used to be In a ritual of contrition big name players have been given longer sentences than normal and those with numbers tainted by suspicion haven t been enshined in the Hall of Fame We ll see if it works Players who used PEDs are already in baseball s Hall of Fame It s something current players know all too well What then does this have to do with a man beating a woman in an elevator Quite a bit Take out PEDs replace them with domestic violence cases and other kinds of violent behavior and we see the same pattern of delays avoidance and weak attempts at deterrence We the public have learned hard lessons from the chronic failures of baseball cycling and of course football in dealing with PEDs and other forms of cheating With each case we have shown less and less patience with leagues and organizations treating star athletes

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  • Political Theatre
    be gained from doing it This however requires two other things something to lose and the belief that we are part of a community This time and again is where deterrence falls apart Take for instance the problem of performance enhancing drugs PEDs in the NFL and other professional leagues Steroids and human growth hormone have transformed not only the athletes in just about every professional sport but the business models of how those sports are run and how they are marketed too For the past thirty years there s been a lot of money to be made in selling bigger gaudier flashier numbers and the bigger gaudier flashier athletes putting them up In the short term it s a party for everyone It s easy for fans team management and the athletes themselves to look past what they don t want to see That s what they short term is all about In the long term though with the public footing the bigger gaudier flashier bills for their entertainment the business models fall apart as assuredly as the aging athletes Fans balking at the ever rising costs start to connect the numbers more to the drugs and less to the athletes and they stop trusting what they re seeing That s when the money stops coming in Or threatens to The sports must either take action to protect their brand image by shaming and expelling those behaving badly or risk being tied to those publicly shamed athletes as they go down It was no accident that Major League Baseball s PED testing and punishment only began in earnest after public outrage made it necessary It was no accident that the token nature of the initial penalties had little to no effect on player behavior There was still too much money to be made for any player when measured against what he might lose And the players all but laughed at the authority of a league that had turned a blind eye for so long It was only with the Biogenesis scandal a decade after the first widespread reports of PED use that baseball took what might be considered serious measures The first attempts at reform are always for show and they always fail for that reason That s when the lessons are learned That s what it takes The minimum suspension in baseball is now what the maximum used to be In a ritual of contrition big name players have been given longer sentences than normal and those with numbers tainted by suspicion haven t been enshined in the Hall of Fame We ll see if it works Players who used PEDs are already in baseball s Hall of Fame It s something current players know all too well What then does this have to do with a man beating a woman in an elevator Quite a bit Take out PEDs replace them with domestic violence cases and other kinds of violent behavior and we see the same pattern

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  • Political Theatre
    really matter When times are good say for example we just won the Cold War and stand as the world s one and only superpower we make excuses for it and look the other way like a TV show we know probably isn t really good but we watch anyway because the actors are pretty That s what the right wing brand is geared towards instant gratification Don t think just enjoy and don t listen to all of the haters telling you not to watch because that s what people telling you there s something better are haters When you think you have a monopoly on power listening to blarney like that comes easy You re buying and they re selling The thing is times aren t so good anymore They haven t been for most Americans for a while now Sure we want easy answers We want worry free safety too The problem the congressional Republicans have is that Americans of all stripes even the ones looking for an excuse to support Republicans know exactly how bad things are and know exactly which group in Congress is mostly responsible for keeping it that way Americans know they aren t the lone superpower anymore Some are even beginning to suspect America isn t one at all Americans also know the rich control more of this nation s wealth than at any time since before the Great Depression We seem to be devolving back to the time of the Gilded Age and the Wild West a time of robber barons and corporate monopolies So no Americans aren t asking if Republicans or anyone should go further in their obstructionism or should find another more charming way of courting voters No they re already asking another question Who do we trust There s a lot of distrust going around these days Americans who should be afraid about the information they freely give away on the interent are instead afraid about what the NSA has been doing with their emails and search histories Nobody seems to be buying the NSA chief s Nothing to see here move along routine Surveillance fears and stonewalling have only fed into fears about Obamacare and socialist medicine something the Republicans know all too well having done most of the feeding Good thing the smooth roll out of the website allowed us to focus on price gauging by insurance companies in states with little or no competition Oh yeah Right World leaders most deliberately ignoring their own countries espionage activitie s are shocked shocked to discover the NSA has been spying on them too Meanwhile some of America s purported Middle East allies Israel Saudi Arabia and Pakistan don t seem too worried about spying Instead they spent the past week complaining about America s military overreach or or whining about the lack of it sometimes in the same sentence Is it strange that they should want the might of America s military at their backs but can t help looking over their shoulders No not really Heck even the Boston Red Sox David Ortiz destroying St Louis Cardinals pitching and the likely World Series MVP plays under a Steroid Era cloud He may be clean now he may have been clean then but it s still the only game in town He knows it and we know it That s just the world we live in We live with the expectation that politicians serve the highest bidder that governments meant to protect us are actually out to get us that cheating is just something everybody does that our friends violate our privacy and pick our pockets and that no matter how many times Lucy Van Pelt holds out that football she s always going to pull it away We are alone That s what a culture of aggressive selfishness gives us We don t trust anyone We can t We don t dare We kid ourselves seeing the same show starting again yet choosing to ignore that it won t be different this time It s a fantasy that we ll get what we want and instant gratification won t devolve into long term failure and distrust But we like it that way and we ll take it that way at least until we can t afford it Don t be a hater Daniel Ward Permalink Posted at 6 05 PM Tagged monopolies anti trust Theodore Roosevelt the gilded age politics republicans congress superpowers major league baseball Steroids steroid era the middle east aggressive selfishness instant gratification charlie brown corruption cheating culture trust NSA obamacare barack obama The Cold War supply side economics Bubbles lucy van pelt Vladimir Putin soviet union david ortiz Anti Trust Aug 06 Toxic pt 2 Alex Rodriguez is toxic People just want him to go away but he can t Alex Rodriguez won t let him A Rod was suspended on Monday for a Major League Baseball record 211 games He then went out and played anyway His many many lawyers filed an appeal one no one expects to succeed in order for him to eke out a few remaining days in the only job he s ever had There s a temptation as with Riley Cooper and Michael Vick to proclaim an end to Alex Rodriguez and his career It s tempting for many reasons For one thing nobody seems to like him For another it s possible he tried to destroy evidence in this case that is before he declared his innocence and that he was not only fighting for his life but hispanics all over the world And oh yes he isn t the player he used to be Had Rodriguez accepted his suspension like the 12 other players named on Monday he d have to accept not playing until 2015 when he turns 40 It would be hard for him to come back as a position player at that age even as a designated hitter A few more hits and maybe a few more home runs are all any player can offer at that age It s hard to believe a PED free Rodriguez would do much better And yet as much as we d like to think it s the chance at breaking records or clearing milestones the length of his suspension may well be the only way he enters Cooperstown No the big reason the only reason that seems to matter to him in his time of need protestations of saving himself and millions of others is that he d lose over 30 million by the time he played again and possibly the remaining 96 million on the contract he signed in 2007 if the New York Yankees lawyers could find a way to void it But they can t or they would have done it already The truth is Alex Rodriguez isn t the player he was in 2007 when he extorted another 10 year extension out of the still dominant Yankees That extension written after the exposure of performance enhancing drug use by some of the game s top players but before the first revelation that Rodriguez was using too at the time he vehemently denied it contains language to protect Rodriguez now No doubt the language very clearly spells out that the contract can t be voided in a situation exactly like this one which means that everybody involved already knew or had a suspicion that Rodriguez was still cheating or had more cheating from his past left to be exposed And let us not forget that at that time Rodriguez was still putting up some of the gaudiest numbers in the game He has never been popular in the clubhouse Not in any clubhouse actually However Rodriguez may talk about his love of the game comradery with his teammates hasn t ever seemed to be a big part of it No it s more of a business to him a job he s been good at Or rather one he used to be good at That s the funny thing about his getting caught now Nobody s scared of A Rod anymore In last year s playoffs he was benched He s spent just about all of this calendar year on the disabled list just to make it back last night and single in a lop sided loss to one of the worst teams in the American League Sure his Yankee teammates were all too happy to welcome his bat back into the lineup but that s about it Look at their comments on welcoming him back they re all really talking about his bat or what they hope he can do with it None of them think he s innocent None of them care They re only a few games out of the last playoff spot and they need someone who can hit Even Yankee management whom Rodriguez accused of conspiring with Commissioner Bud Selig in order not to have to pay the rest of his contract want his bat back in the lineup And Rodriguez is well aware of that too No one comes out of this clean Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter once as close to Rodriguez as anyone has never to anyone s knowledge used PEDs Yet there s that phrase to anyone s knowledge It will follow Jeter all the way to his Hall Of Fame induction ceremony and probably beyond It was the era he played in Two players previously connected with the case were actually cleared on Monday Washington Nationals pitch Gio Gonzalez and Baltimore Orioles third baseman Danny Valencia They had to be It wasn t enough simply not to be named with the other twelve players involved but whom had been previously caught and suspended weren t named either Gonzalez and Valencia needed to be able to walk into their clubhouses and know their teammates knew they were clean They needed the fans to know it And baseball being the business it is they needed potential future employers to know it Whatever good comes from the suspensions Bud Selig handed out on Monday the situation those players were in was his fault too He presided over an era that stretches back over thirty years first as one of the most influential owners and then as perhaps the most enabling of commissioners He wanted to build the business and he succeeded but he did so at the expense of comradery at the expense of trust both in the clubhouse and in the stands Monday was indeed as good day for baseball but only because so much of what Selig and Rodriguez and others did made it necessary Daniel Ward Permalink Posted at 2 19 PM Tagged major league baseball Steroids steroid era human growth hormone cheating cheating culture everybody else is doing it so why not me michael vick riley cooper alex rodriguez Toxic pt 2 Jul 23 I think for me what makes me mad basically it just kills all the credibility of anybody Jason Bay Seattle Mariners outfielder July 22nd 2013 on Ryan Braun s admission of performance enhancing drug use after years of denials Signs of a tipping point DW Permalink Posted at 2 17 PM Tagged Steroids cheating steroid era cheating culture major league baseball corruption accountability Political Theatre Jul 22 We won because the truth is on my side The truth is always relevant and at the end of the day the truth prevailed Ryan Braun Milwaukee Brewers outfielder February 24 2012 on the ruling overturning his 2011 suspension for using performance enhancing drugs The former MVP was today suspended for the rest of the season after he admitted to using PEDs and lying to investigators Permalink Posted at 7 23 PM Tagged major league baseball performance enhancing drugs corruption cheating steroid era Steroids cheating culture Political Theatre Jul 21 Everybody Does It pt 4 Sports have rules for a reason Players cheat Players want to win Players who win are rewarded with fame and increasingly fortune The temptation to cheat is too much for some when the stakes are low raise the stakes to record books and a life of luxury and no rulebook can be detailed enough Somebody with enough time and money will find a way around it When Lance Armstrong finally admitted cheating throughout his 7 year title run in the Tour de France he did so never having failed a drug test When he finally apologized it was less an apology than an excuse Everybody does it Cheating in that light wasn t cheating it was the only way to compete And yet he knew enough to know he had to lie And because of him and others like him the Tour de France will conclude its 100th anniversary year this Sunday under a permanent cloud of doubt and suspicion Is Briton Chris Froome the expected victor clean How about the second and third place finishers Probably That s as close as we can get to certainty That s what cheating did to cycling That s what an era of cheating has done to all sports Politics is a lot more like sports than we like to think There is of course the horse race on which our journalists place far too much of their attention Then there is the inside game the way votes get counted and far too often bought to pass a bill that probably stands no chance of passage in the other house And then of course there s interference There are rules about interference in all sports Without them games would grind to a halt Without them the teams with the most money would hire the biggest players and never lose Without them few would want to play and even fewer would want to watch It must be as the saying goes a level playing field For this reason too the rules only go so far In every sport there always can and perhaps should be contact okay perhaps not in anything played with a net but it must only be if both players have a legitimate chance at taking control of the ball or puck If it isn t clear there s always a referee to figure it out or not Politics doesn t have referees not at least that most people would recognize It relies mostly on what few rules have been written and the honor of those playing neither to cheat nor to abuse those few given rules If you think it s unrealistic to expect a bunch of men and women playing for the highest stakes while faced with only a few easily broken rules to respect the need for a level playing field you might be onto something It doesn t work on Wall Street it doesn t work in professional sports and it doesn t work in Washington D C either There is no rule in Senate procedure against the filibuster None at all The closest legal term they have for it might be consuetudo pro lege servatur literally the custom serves for law It s an honor system in a place not generally known for honor Once upon a time the filibuster was understood to be an extreme measure It was a romantic gesture destined for defeat and therefore noble The term itself comes from freebooting a term for piracy The speaker and it was always a speaker would seize the agenda the agenda being the preset order of items for discussion So long as the speaker kept speaking the rules dictated that the floor was his It was bold It was time consuming It was exhausting And as we witnessed in Texas just a couple of weeks ago it can be enough for a solitary man or woman in the minority to draw attention to an issue even in the face of insurmountable odds That s the thing about filibusters They re for playing defense The speaker knows the odds are against him The speaker knows that he may only be delaying the inevitable And yet if the speaker has shown the courage to stand and speak until he can speak no more he will have forced his opponents always a majority to have to stand and publicly defend their position Is there any greater defensive play than to put your opponent on the defensive That ultimately is the goal to draw attention not hide it That s what a real filibuster is and in all of the United States there is no law against it Perhaps that s why it has become so abused lately used not for defense but for bullying I am of course referring to so called silent filibusters something more akin to anonymous holds another abused custom than anything resembling a real filibuster In silence and anonymity a Senator can hide himself and an issue keeping it from being discussed from receiving attention The statistics are mind boggling There have been more silent filibusters which is to say threats of a potential filibuster in the past twenty years than in the entire history of the United States before it This is no accident It is a matter of policy That it coincides with the eras of fraud on Wall Street and Steroid abuse in sports is no accident either The culture behind it is identical winner takes all and it s only cheating if you get caught and of course everybody does it Having no rule against a filibuster silent or spoken those in the Senate minority usually Republicans in this era have pushed the use of the filibuster as far as it will go They merely need to suggest the use of it after all It s not like anybody s ever called another senator out and challenged him or her to go through with it That would be dishonorable at least so far as the culture of the Senate dictates What s more and

    Original URL path: http://politicaltheatre.net/tagged/steroids (2016-05-02)
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  • Political Theatre
    gained from doing it This however requires two other things something to lose and the belief that we are part of a community This time and again is where deterrence falls apart Take for instance the problem of performance enhancing drugs PEDs in the NFL and other professional leagues Steroids and human growth hormone have transformed not only the athletes in just about every professional sport but the business models of how those sports are run and how they are marketed too For the past thirty years there s been a lot of money to be made in selling bigger gaudier flashier numbers and the bigger gaudier flashier athletes putting them up In the short term it s a party for everyone It s easy for fans team management and the athletes themselves to look past what they don t want to see That s what they short term is all about In the long term though with the public footing the bigger gaudier flashier bills for their entertainment the business models fall apart as assuredly as the aging athletes Fans balking at the ever rising costs start to connect the numbers more to the drugs and less to the athletes and they stop trusting what they re seeing That s when the money stops coming in Or threatens to The sports must either take action to protect their brand image by shaming and expelling those behaving badly or risk being tied to those publicly shamed athletes as they go down It was no accident that Major League Baseball s PED testing and punishment only began in earnest after public outrage made it necessary It was no accident that the token nature of the initial penalties had little to no effect on player behavior There was still too much money to be made for any player when measured against what he might lose And the players all but laughed at the authority of a league that had turned a blind eye for so long It was only with the Biogenesis scandal a decade after the first widespread reports of PED use that baseball took what might be considered serious measures The first attempts at reform are always for show and they always fail for that reason That s when the lessons are learned That s what it takes The minimum suspension in baseball is now what the maximum used to be In a ritual of contrition big name players have been given longer sentences than normal and those with numbers tainted by suspicion haven t been enshined in the Hall of Fame We ll see if it works Players who used PEDs are already in baseball s Hall of Fame It s something current players know all too well What then does this have to do with a man beating a woman in an elevator Quite a bit Take out PEDs replace them with domestic violence cases and other kinds of violent behavior and we see the same pattern of

    Original URL path: http://politicaltheatre.net/tagged/sports (2016-05-02)
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