Baseball Steroids, Marc Norton Replies …

by on December 17, 2007


What is woefully lacking in the media frenzy surrounding the release of the Mitchell Report on steroid use among professional baseball players is the growing steroid use among college, high school, and even grade school students. We forget that many of our youth look on professional athletes as role models. If professional athletes use illegal drugs as the easy path to big salaries and glory on the playing field and get away with it, is it any wonder that the would-be professional athletes of tomorrow will follow their example.

But does it matter? In this age of wide-scale cheating and lying by public officials, researchers, academics, etc., the professional athletes’ use of steroids appears irrelevant to a lot of people. After all, professional sports is just entertainment and “everyone” was doing it. It should matter and if it doesn’t, it just demonstrates how far we have fallen as a society.

Ralph E. Stone
San Francisco

Dear Editor,

E. F. Sullivan asks me, in his December 13 letter, “if after the next big earthquake he would like the military to help with relief efforts.”

Yes, Mr. Sullivan, I want the war-makers in Washington to bring home the tens of thousands of National Guard troops who have been sent abroad to fight the illegal and immoral war in Iraq. I would like our young men and women in the military to be available to serve the real needs of the American people right here at home, instead of being used as pawns in a rich man’s war for domination abroad.

But our military today is not a relief operation. It is the armed wing of the masters of imperial war who send them all over the globe, to fight and to die, not in order to bring succor to the poor and the hungry and the oppressed, but in order to protect the wealth and power of the few. Our military today is not the Revolutionary Army of George Washington. It is instead the Red Coats of King George III.

Yes, Mr. Sullivan, JROTC is “voluntary.” But it is a sad, sad commentary on our schools, and our country, that putting our children at the service of the masters of imperial war is a “choice” we will even contemplate.

Mr. Sullivan calls me a “far-left professional America hater.”

I will plead guilty to being “far left” — far to the left of those who have replaced the old divine right of kings with the more-modern divine right of capital and the democracy of fear.

As to my profession, I make my living as a bellman. I wish Beyond Chron would pay me for my occasional journalistic endeavors, but they don’t.

As to being an “America hater” I can do no better than to quote Langston Hughes, who famously said in Let America Be America Again:

“O, let America be America again –
“The land that never has been yet –
“And yet must be – the land where EVERY man is free…

“O, yes,
“I say it plain,
“America never was America to me,
“And yet I swear this oath –
“America will be!”

Marc Norton
San Francisco

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