Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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The real villains in baseball‘s drug scandal

George Foster - February 18th, 2008
The Real Villains in Baseball’s Drug Scandal
Roger lied. Or at least the chances are better than 50/50 that Clemens fibbed when he told a congressional committee that he never used steroids, HGH, or any other performance enhancing drugs.
Most baseball insiders estimate that 60% to 75% of Major League Baseball (MLB) players used banned drugs in some form at the height of their popularity several years ago. Even if Clemens never partook (though he sure looks guilty), the percentages indicate thousands of other MLB players cheated.
Steroid use by our society at large is obviously a big problem. To its credit, MLB has finally tightened down the rules and testing for drug use. Most of the players seem to have cleaned up their acts.
So, why is Congress hammering Roger Clemens until he tells us he is a lying drug abuser? Our representatives know it is impractical to nail hundreds of MLB players for past improprieties, so it continues to drag a few legends such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens through the mud. Congress wants us to think they are looking out for us.
Remember, the 109th Congress is the same outraged group that guaranteed they would begin to bring home our troops from Iraq, among other empty promises. Of course, the level of U.S. military there increased by about 25% after the 2006 elections. Congress continues to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (closing in on $1 trillion to date) with no end in sight.
Look, I am no fan of Clemens. His arrogant behavior on the field in the past is well documented. Besides, as possibly the greatest pitcher of all time, he overpowered my Detroit Tigers more times than I care to remember.
Yet, I am beginning to feel sorry for the guy. Roger Clemens has become the whipping boy for everything wrong in sports. When former MLB pitcher John Rocker accused his former team officials of showing players how to use steroids without being caught, he came the closest to identifying the real culprits of the drug scandal.
Remember how baseball was shaken to its foundations after the strike of 1994? MLB sat out August, September and the entire postseason of that year. The last time the World Series had been cancelled was 1904.
In 1995, avid fans were boycotting the game in droves and team owners were teetering on bankruptcy. Enter the drug era. Since then, in part because of the prodigious feats of Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens (allegedly under the influence of steroids), baseball won back it fans and began to earn record profits. No wonder MLB officials were happy to look the other way while players used drugs like candy.
As national columnist Jason Whitlock stated, “We’ve mastered the art of incarcerating, belittling and disgracing drug users. We’ve shown little ability — and even less desire — to do anything to drug kingpins, the men who double their wealth by cultivating the drug market.”
It is too easy for our toothless Congress to beat up on celebrity players who broke the rules in order to perform at a high level and keep their jobs. Before you join the lynch mob, crucifying players for their horrible decisions, don’t forget to spread the blame.
It was the baseball owners who indirectly promoted and financed the illegal drug traffic in baseball. Maybe Congress should put them on the stand.
 
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