Friday, February 15, 2008

Shabbat Ideas - February 15, 2008

It is Friday, it is nice in the City, so here are my Shabbat Ideas for February 15, 2008:

Lantos: Remembered
More fun with the RA and its hypocritical policy
And some from Rabbi Jacobs at the RA
Really, I don't get time off? (Very worthwhile reading)

As a lifelong Red Sox fan living in New York, it gives me unending joy to see traitors suffer at the hands of others. While the sight of Wade Boggs cantering around Yankee Stadium on a NYPD horse is forever burned upon my consciousness, it is nice to see Johnny Damon warm the bench due to a slumping batting average. However I find no pleasure in the Rocket being publicly flogged during congressional hearings.

Newspapers around the country are filled with stories exploring the detailed testimony and possible perjury of Rodger Clemens. Leaving the details for the sports page, he said he didn’t take Human Growth Hormone and his trainer Brian McNamee said he did. Even if he did take these supplements and lied about doing so, the US House of Representatives should spend its time elsewhere.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is investigating sports icons for reasons that are outside my comprehension. Athletes occupy a unique place in American society and perhaps should be held to a higher standard. But Congress has more important things to do than collect pictures of used syringes and empty pill bottles from the club house trash can.

There is the oversight of a ridiculously lopsided budget proposal, a two-front war, a lack-luster economy and a diminishing social security system that this committee should be discussing. Instead the committee is spending time talking to what Representative Elijah Cummings calls personal “heroes.” The 47 million Americans without healthcare would much rather know if Clemens is telling the truth than be able to pay for a doctors visit.

Priorities in American culture are not inline with our values. Is it too much to ask that those who sit on a congressional committee on oversight and reform set their priorities based on the values of the American people?

These hearings may uncover a shockingly under-reported wrath of supplement and steroid use among professional athletes in the same way the $20 million Mitchell report did just a few months ago.

Thankfully Spring Training is less than a month away and there will be something worthy of day time ESPN coverage. Until then it seems that Congress is out to get some headlines. It isn’t very often that the giants of Capital Hill share a time slot on Sports Center with the New York Football Giants. Clemens should be held accountable but Congress should be ashamed of itself.

Shabbat Shalom

No comments: