Sunday, June 15, 2008

Changing his tune, still getting it wrong.

Bob Barr, one of the managers of the Clinton impeachment, has left the Republican Party and will be the standard bearer for the Libertarian Party this year. On the Huffington Post, he wrote a blog entry this week saying he was wrong about The War On Drugs. Gosh, that took him a while, didn't it? I don't make many comments about the drug policy of this country, as it's not my most pressing concern, but anyone consciously in favor of the status quo holds an indefensible position. Thanks for coming around, Bob, though now your voice is so weak it no longer matters.

Showing his love for the private sector and the solutions it creates, he applauds Vince McMahon, owner of the WWE, for the organization's newly instituted Wellness Program, testing for steroids and other drugs and giving treatment to those who abuse them.

Sorry, Bob, wrong answer.

Steroids in sports are the unrestricted free market. McMahon closed this barn door long after the horses escaped, though he is still unable to take the blame for the massive number of deaths in his industry. Several people on this list died at an advanced age, but look at how many are less than 50 when they die, and how many are from cancers. Not all of these people worked for the WWE, but that hardly matters. Wrestlers took steroids because all their competitors took steroids. They didn't take them to win matches. That is a predetermined outcome. They took them to get matches. You needed "the look" to be a wrestler, and that look by the 1980s was defined by Hulk Hogan. He told the little Hulkamaniacs to say their prayers and take their vitamins, but he himself was taking steroids. He might have fooled the duller segment of the public, but he didn't fool his competitors. That's what you had to look like to get the jobs, and taking steroids was the way to look like that. Pro wrestling is a series of live stunts, and the risk of injury is real. Taking steroids is a medically accepted way to recover from injury quicker. The negative effects, especially from unsupervised usage, are a very long list of many things that kill people.

McMahon's "private sector solution" is just as top-down as any government program, and there's no real evidence it isn't just a show for the public. McMahon's business is in serious jeopardy, as younger viewers are switching away from boxing and wrestling to mixed martial arts competitions. To give him any credit for this sham when he ran a business that killed his employees for decades is just another example of why Bob Barr, even when he changes his mind, still can't come up with the right answers.

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