Saturday, August 31, 2013

Is Sports Winning The "War on Drugs"?

Recently, the Media, Baseball Commissioner, Bud Selig, and Baseball Team Owners, tried to turn the public against Baseball Players.  It’s a ploy - the age-old, so-called “War on Drugs.”  This war crops up from time to time not only in professional Baseball, but also in Football, Basketball and Ice Hockey.  Why?  Whenever players are not producing and owners are convinced they are not making enough money, they turn the players into scapegoats. 
Across the nation, outraged mothers and fathers concur with the media.  Many place the responsibility of guiding their impressionable children into the hands of professional athletes.  They demand that they become an example by not taking drugs.  It does not matter whether some of these parents are abusing prescription drugs or drinking excessively themselves. Instead of becoming strong role models for their children, they too find it more comforting to blame some stranger trying to make a living in sports.
On the other hand, why are players not vilified for drinking alcohol and giving themselves cancer from chewing tobacco?  It comes down to dollars and cents.  Firstly, tobacco and beer companies are sponsors of the professional Sports Industry.  Yet these substances are just as destructive to the wholesome, family image the sports world likes to project. 
"Baseball Players are only glorified when their
bats crack the ball and it goes sailing
on the wind beyond the boundaries." - JSB

Secondly, the Sports Industry has created a drug-induced meritocracy where some players are prepared to risk everything for short-term financial gain.  Baseball Players are only glorified when their bats crack the ball and it goes sailing on the wind beyond the boundaries.  As the home runs pile up, the rabid fans fill the stands, and owners gleefully chart exploding sales growth of their team memorabilia. The MLB Owners, Commissioner and Managers, quite aware of what these young men are doing to exhibit such extraordinary athleticism, are so morally bankrupt, that they are prepared to look the other way. It is only when some eager young reporter writes an exposé in an attempt to make a name for him - or herself that the sports world pretends to be outraged. 
The misinformed public and hypocritical parents who negate their responsibility, however, still continue to place the blame squarely on the shoulders of professional athletes alone.  Why aren’t they asking who invested in the now-defunct company, Biogenesis?  Why aren’t they demanding the names of companies still manufacturing these synthetic drug-enhancers?  Instead, they allow the owners and heads of the Sports Industry to hide in their ivory towers and force the players to be accountable to the public.
It should be noted that many of these young men playing sports for profit are the product of dysfunctional environments.  Advanced education and critical-thinking skills would prepare them to better handle their new-found wealth and lime-light.  Unless the Sports Industry stops negating their responsibility and leadership, then these young men will continue to destroy their dreams and careers.
© 2013 Mouth Wired Shut

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Women, have you met da Vinci?

Women, have you met da Vinci?  Not the famous Italian inventor and artist of yesteryear.  No, I’m talking about the very futuristic Robotic Intuitive Surgical System that Silicon Valley has developed. Hospitals are staking their future economic success on this revolutionary device, and women appear to be the main target. 
With a promise of speedy recovery from robotic surgeries like hysterectomies, women could become the cash cow hospital administrators have been seeking.  The United States has the highest rate of hysterectomy in the industrialized world with 600,000 hysterectomies performed each year (Hysterectomy Misunderstood by Many U.S. Women, September 13, 2011).  And with the cost of the da Vinci robot costing hospitals upwards of $1.5 million, they are under pressure to push for as many surgeries as possible to recoup their hefty investment (Rock Center with Brian Williams, June 14, 2013)
If women think they have nothing to fear from an operating room run by the da Vinci, think again.  In a recent interview on the Rock Center, Dr. Nancy Snyderman talked with women whose surgical recovery from the daVinci was less than satisfactory (Rock Center with Brian Williams, June 14, 2013).  In fact, some of the patients’ entire internal organ systems were destroyed by the clumsy and experimental machine.  We all know that computer programs and other man-made devices are subject to human error, and they occur on a regular basis.  Yet, the developer of this Intuitive Surgical System is adamant that they have done enough testing and continue to force it on the public.

Reminiscent of the movie “Edward Scissorhands,” the machine’s operator sits feet away from the patient performing the intricate surgical procedures.  Manipulating a machine inside a body with numerous organs, blood vessels and nerves is not a job for anyone peering through a lens sitting feet away.  The human body is extremely delicate, and performing major surgery is not like playing video games.  Nor is this a science fiction - or fantasy of some executive’s imagination.
I had a hysterectomy when I was 38, and I recovered excellently.  I know it can be overwhelming when facing a surgical procedure, but don’t be pressured by any medical team or hospital to do what is not in your best interest.  Do your “due diligence” before agreeing to any medical procedure performed by a robot. Hospitals are not in the human business.  They are in the money-making business. 

© 2013 Mouth Wired Shut