Skip to comments.Ban This! Ban That! Ban This and That!
Posted on 02/06/2013 3:30:05 AM PST by Kaslin
I like to bet on sports. Having a stake in the game, even if it's just five bucks, makes it more exciting. I also like playing poker. "Unacceptable!" say politicians in much of America. "Gambling sometimes leads to 'addiction,' destitute families!"
Well, it can.
So politicians ban it. It's why we no longer see a poker game in the back of bars. Half the states even ban poker between friends -- though they rarely enforce that.
After banning things, politicians' second favorite activity is granting special privileges to a few people who do those same things -- so big casinos flourish, and most states run their own lotteries. Running lotteries is one of the more horrible things our governments do. The poor buy the most tickets, and states offer them terrible odds. The government entered the lottery business promising to end the "criminal numbers racket." Now states do what the "criminals" did but offer much worse odds. Adding insult to their scam, politicians also spend our tax money promoting lotteries with disgusting commercials that trash hard work, implying that happiness comes from hedonism.
Politicians also ban some medical innovations that might enhance athletes' performances. Teams buy high-tech equipment to get better results. Doctors prescribe all sorts of special medications if an athlete is injured. Competitors try dubious vitamins and "natural" food supplements.
But they better not use steroids.
The public supports this ban, but they rarely think it through. Why are steroids bad but eye surgery OK? (Tiger Woods did that to improve his vision.) Athletes will constantly try new ways to maximize their strength and endurance. Why is government even involved?
Don't get me wrong. If players promise not to use steroids but then use, that's wrong. Lance Armstrong is despicable not because he injected drugs like testosterone or did blood-doping, but because he proclaimed that he didn't, then did, then lied and bullied people, and threatened to sue them, to wreck their lives, for telling the truth. That's evil. Steroids themselves are just another form of eye surgery or better shoes.
If the NFL or Tour de France or the Big Ten wants a no-steroid rule, fine. But in America, if an athlete uses steroids, it's not just a violation of a private organization's rules, it's a federal issue. Congress has held nine -- that's right, nine -- hearings on the "problem" of steroids in sports. The pols know that yelling at baseball stars will get the pols face time on TV. There they are, bravely solving America's problems! But clumsy federal law doesn't even stop the cheating.
Politicians blithely ban this and that -- at the expense of their own constituents. Billions of dollars in banned Internet poker profits move offshore -- to countries with sensible rules.
A final stupid sports ban: Connecticut and New York will not allow MMA, mixed martial arts competitions. This booming sport is called "mixed" martial arts because it's more than just wrestling or judo or boxing, it's ... fighting. To win, one must excel at all martial arts. Yes, it's violent, but so are boxing and football. Mixed martial arts is actually safer than boxing, because the athletes don't spend 12 rounds getting hit on the head.
I can go to Madison Square Garden to watch boxers smash each other in the face. I can take little kids there to watch fake wrestling, which looks even more violent.
But Sen. John McCain called mixed martial arts "human cockfighting" and demanded it be banned. When he couldn't pass a national ban, he sent letters to governors of all 50 U.S. states asking them to ban MMA events in each state.
Fortunately, governors ignored him, and now in most of America, a new sport that brings in millions of dollars in business, opportunity and tax revenues blossoms. But not in New York or Connecticut. There, politicians wait for the lobbyists to kiss their rings. If they contribute enough to their campaigns, maybe they'll relent.
Gambling, steroid use and violent sports ought to be choices that consenting adults are free to make.
Politicians should butt out of sports.
Stossel wondered why if vitamins and protein supplements were legal, then why not steroids.
I think that only about 1/2 of the 38 yo's can be trusted to vote!
And? Your point being what, exactly? In fact, steroids are NOT illegal, generally, are they? You can be prescribed steroids quite legally. Stossel's problem is government deciding that they ought to be illegal for SOME, like athletes, and legal for others. This is not a proper area for the application of governmental force - that's Stossel's point. If the sporting bodies want to ban these substances, that's their prerogative. No problem for me, Stossel, or perhaps you.
I can tell you that to my certain knowledge there are some nutritive supplements with enhanced delivery coming down the pike - already being used in racehorses to astounding effect - which provide increased stamina and endurance. These supplements and the associated delivery technology are certain to find their way into human supplementation. The company behind the technology already does business with GNC, so GNC is certain to be aware of it. To repeat - these are all entirely natural and legal supplements, just delivered more efficiently.
Should they also be made illegal? Illegal for everyone? Illegal for some? Made illegal by government? And if so, to what legitimate end?
People look at the records of great players from the past and see their records, achieved with no peds, shattered by athletes who may not have come close to those records without steroids. And when baseball cracked down on steroid use, homerun production went way down. So how can I, and millions of other fans, seriously take the records set by players who might not have come close to setting records if they hadn't used artificial means i.e. anabolic steroids to do it?
They’re just games. I find it ridiculous that “athletes” can’t use substances I hear advertised on the radio.
I’m sorry, but this does not seem to be anything at all like the original position you espoused. Besides, all the introspective musing in the world won’t allow you to escape the final question: Who gets to decide?
And when it comes to whether you can take athletic achievement seriously with or without steroids or whatever else, is a matter for you, and not for anyone else. Others can make up their own minds. Bottom line is, frankly, I don’t care, and I hope millions more don’t care either. Because, all this “caring” is leading us toward a society where long-nosed busybodies make more and more decisions that ought to be ours alone. Maybe I might want to take steroids - or maybe not. But I don’t want that decision left to the LLiC - that’s the “Local Libtard in Charge”. They have already started tagging non-steroids as steroids just to get them banned. This is what Fascists do.
Finally: “Steroids were not available, or not in the current form, forty years ago and more. So you have athletes today setting records they might not have come close to without steroid use.”
So what? The same thing will be true in another 40 years - when whatever performance enhancing substances have been developed in the meantime are matters for this unhealthy public “caring”. And as I said before, they are on the way, faster than you might think.
Finally.... I ascertain that you don't care what athletes take and how it affects their performance. At least we've cleared that up. For the record, I do care. Especially if some substance or substances allows average athletes to surpass records set by superior athletes.
I’ve never heard of anabolic steroids advertised on the radio, tv, or other media forms.
For the record, I had already concluded that. The question is, do you think "something ought to be done"? And by who?
I have no problem whatsoever with sports bodies setting their own rules about anything, age, gender, drug use of all kinds, drinking, you name it. That's the nature of freedom. You don't want to play by the rules, don't play. It's simple.
But as for individuals, I can't see a problem. And as I have said, there is stuff coming down the pike that will test folks like you - LEGAL stuff that you really couldn't ban without exposing your innate bias against excellence.
Look, I wore glasses for years. I needed them as I worked with texts. Should I have been refused them because they were "unnatural" or gave me an unfair advantage, or that back in 1492 people had to do without?
I can't see a difference with athletics. Should baseball players be obliged to wear 1920's style footwear or football players wear protective gear as manufactured back in 1935, just so the stats can be leveled? Strikes me as a bit of nonsense, that's all, and besides, it can't and won't be stopped.
Wearing glasses? Glasses correct a deficiency...a fault with the body. Steroids give healthy athletes edges beyond what they’d achieve normally.
Sorry, but you are making distinctions with literally no practical difference.
Who are you to say that one of your “average” athletes is not merely steroid deficient?
Fine. So you are on the record as supporting any drugs or measures athletes can use to increase performance. No limits...am I correct?
No you are not correct, and again I implore you to actually read and understand what is put in front of you.
As previously explained, here it is again: The limits are whatever limits are agreed within a voluntary sports association such as a sponsor of competitive bicycling. Any participant under the auspices of the association would be obliged to follow the rules set up for all participants. Simple. Or, in the case of professional sports, all would follow the rules of their employment, again simple.
No need for heavy handed, coercive government head-bashing and clubbing of the uninvolved.
Well, actually you are agreeing with me. As long as it’s a private agreement with no government involvement.
It was your use of terms like “illegal” that lulled me into thinking you had the government in mind. LOL!!!
I’m against government sticking its nose is places where it doesn’t belong as much as any other conservative. My concern is what are the limits to what athletes can put in their bodies to enhance performance.
My basic position is that if they (the athletes) don’t stick their noses into your business, you could reciprocate.
You forget that what is the fan’s business (that would be people like me) is the player’s business. No fans, no players. If I, a fan, say what a player is putting in his body is important, it’s important. Period.
Important to you.
Please, just don't ask your Congressman to "do something about it".